NYMC Faculty Publications

Pediatric PTSD in the DSM-5 and the Forensic Interview of Traumatized Youth

Journal Title

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

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Publication Date

June 2017


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Since the Third Edition, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has increasingly incorporated developmentally informed criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of recognition that children and adolescents can manifest PTSD differently from adults. The most recent edition, DSM-5, among other changes, has introduced a developmental subtype for children six years of age or younger. As pediatric PTSD features very prominently in both civil and criminal proceedings, it is vital that the expert witness be familiar with the updated criteria and know how to interview traumatized youth appropriately in the forensic setting. In this review, we discuss the importance of the evolution of PTSD from past DSM editions to the current one, and the implications of using the new diagnostic criteria and current conceptual models in the forensic evaluation of pediatric PTSD.

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