Approximately 25% of children and adolescents report experiencing a significant traumatic event by the age of 16 years. In Australia, accidental injuries (e.g. bicycle accidents, burns, sporting injuries) represent the most common type of traumatic event experienced by youth, with approximately 2,500 per 100,000 (2.5%) children and adolescents experiencing a serious accidental injury requiring a hospital admission each year. Although the majority of children demonstrate great resilience or appear to be only briefly affected by such traumatic events, a significant minority (on average 19.82%) of young people will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other psychological difficulties following exposure to a traumatic event.
Consequences of Poor Psychological Outcomes for Children
PTSD is a chronic and debilitating disorder that is associated with significant impairments in both social and academic functioning. PTSD is also associated with elevated rates of other emotional and behavioural problems (especially anxiety disorders), as well as poorer health-related quality of life for children (i.e., the impact of disease and therapy on a person's life situation).
Our Research Aims to:
- Improve understanding of the experiences of those affected by trauma
- Improve methods of identifying those at risk of developing psychological problems
- Determine factors which can predict improved outcomes
- Develop early intervention strategies to facilitate psychological adjustment
- Develop high quality psychological interventions to assist the rehabilitation process