What Is Child Traumatic Stress?

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Defining Trauma and Child Traumatic Stress

Child traumatic stress occurs when children and adolescents are exposed to traumatic events or traumatic situations that overwhelm their ability to cope. Click here to read more.

What Is Child Traumatic Stress? (2003) (PDF)
Although many of us may experience reactions to stress from time to time, when a child is experiencing child traumatic stress, these reactions interfere with his or her daily life and ability to function and interact with others.  This resource provides a definition of child traumatic stress and outlines symptoms.
The 12 Core Concepts: Concepts for Understanding Traumatic Stress Responses in Children and Families (2012)
The 12 Core Concepts, developed by the NCTSN Core Curriculum Task Force during an expert consensus meeting in 2007, serve as the conceptual foundation of the Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma and provide a rationale for trauma-informed assessment and intervention. The Concepts cover a broad range of points that practitioners and agencies should consider as they strive to assess, understand, and assist trauma-exposed children, families, and communities in trauma-informed ways.
Understanding Child Traumatic Stress

Before we discuss what is meant by a traumatic experience or traumatic stress, let's think about how we recognize and deal with danger. Dangers can become traumatic when they threaten serious injury or death. Click here to read more. 

Understanding Child Traumatic Stress (2005) (PDF)
   >En Español: Entendamos el estrés traumático infantil (PDF)
This brochure condenses the material in the 'Understanding Child Traumatic Stress' webpage and presents it in an easily printable format. We live with dangers every day.  As children and adolescents grow up, they continually learn about different types of dangers. We are always looking for ways to make our lives safer. However, traumatic experiences sometimes happen, both within and outside the family. 
How children experience traumatic events and how they express their distress depends, in large part, on the children's age and level of development.  This resource provides a information on how parents, physicians, communities, and schools can understand and help children during these challenging times.
Questions & Answers about Child Traumatic Stress

Network experts answer questions about child trauma and its treatment.