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Book Reviews   |    
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Handbook
Reviewed by Laura Murray
Psychiatric Services 2006; doi:
text A A A

edited by Raul R. Silva, M.D.; New York, W.W. Norton and Company, 2004, 224 pages, $19.95 softcover

Dr. Murray is an assistant professor and child clinical psychologist at Boston University School of Public Health.

This book reviews the salient topics related to posttraumatic stress disorder among children and adolescents and covers the areas of epidemiology, resiliency and vulnerability factors, legal aspects, neurobiology, etiology, clinical presentation, gender, intergenerational links, differential diagnoses, assessment, and treatment. This handbook recognizes the nuances of working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma from a developmental and real-world perspective. The breadth and depth of topics covered specific to youth populations is wonderful.

The book has a strong research base and covers a broad array of traumas and populations. The science is presented in a way that allows for a concise and relevant overview of the critical studies that are often enhanced by tables or charts for ease of comprehension. The authors skillfully present cases that make many of the points discussed come to life. In addition, this book is thoughtful in discussing the strength of research findings and also in addressing the areas where more work is needed. I was particularly impressed with the cross-cultural discussions throughout the handbook. This book is well written and flows smoothly from one chapter topic to another, creating a very comprehensive and digestible piece of work.

The editor, Raul R. Silva, M.D., has extensive experience with traumatized youth and clearly understands the complexities of the area from both a scientific and practical perspective. This multifaceted conceptualization is a breath of fresh air that is sorely needed in the area of traumatized youths and has contributed to a book that successfully weaves together the worlds of science and practice. Dr. Silva and the selected chapter authors create a wonderfully crafted educational book that is useful for a wide range of professionals. I would recommend this book to highly trained professionals working in the area, as well as to many other professionals—nurses, doctors, and administrators—who may have no formal training in the area but interface with traumatized children or adolescents.

Dr. Silva, along with the authors of the chapters, clearly has the knowledge, background, and experience to write about this very important and timely topic. They have most definitely accomplished their objectives of creating a reference guide to the wide range of topics important in youth trauma, addressing current issues in the field, and using a developmental approach.




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