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Annotated Bibliography: Trauma in early childhood: A neglected population De Young A.C., Kenardy J.A., &amp. Cobham V.E. (2011). Trauma in early childhood: A neglected population. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 231-250.
This article highlights the prevalence of trauma in children particularly infants, toddlers and preschoolers. This population is prone to trauma exposure especially due to their incomplete physical as well as emotional development. As such, these young children lack adequate coping skills necessary to avoid the effects of trauma. According to De Young et. al., most of the children undergoing trauma are often neglected. Many researches in the field of trauma exist majorly for older children (above six years), adolescents, and adults. This population, therefore, requires attention if such traumas are to be prevented from developing into adverse psychological problems. As such, this study is crucial in creating awareness about this disturbing concept. In addition to this, the article also intends to increase existing understanding on early childhood trauma thus create room for further research.
The study is in agreement with other previous researches although it highlights more concepts about early childhood trauma than the previous ones. For example, trauma in young children can be treated early to avoid development into adverse psychological problems. Treatment regimens include the well-documented trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, TF-CBT. In addition to this, the study highlights other controlled treatment studies that have proven successful in trauma therapy. The study also highlights some factors that can help young children cope post trauma. These include parenting skills, maternal mental health, as well as parent-child attachment. Related to these factors is the functioning of the family, which also has an effect on a child’s reaction to trauma. For instance, a loving and stable family reduces trauma symptomatology in young children whereas a depressed and unstable family aggravates trauma symptoms.
After occurrence of a traumatic event, young children possess developmental capacities, as well as experience psychopathic tendencies. Moreover, the rate and manifestation of trauma symptomatology is varied with unique developmental differences. In addition to these findings, the research also found out that failure to treat trauma could lead to the development of chronic and unremitting course. The relationship between parents and their children can point out the impact of trauma.
The study sample in this research includes young children ranging from infants, toddlers to preschoolers. However, due to challenges in working with this young population, parents are also included in the study sample to provide clear accounts. The main challenge in working with young children is their poor communication skills.
This study can be improved by concentrating on a wider scale of data collection, as opposed to the narrow scale used. For instance, instead of using just questionnaires, the researchers may focus on different other data collection techniques like diagnostic reviews including psychometric testing. Furthermore, the study should rely more on the traumatized children’s account as opposed to views of their parents as this can be biased. In some cases, parents assume that the children are too young to be affected by traumatic events, or they underestimate the symptoms in children.
Conclusively, this article goes a long way in bridging the study gap that exists in terms of early childhood trauma. With its recommendations and suggested research areas, childhood trauma will soon be a history.
De Young A.C., Kenardy J.A., &amp. Cobham V.E. (2011). Trauma in early childhood: A neglected population. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 231-250.