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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • By: Julia Shaftel
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that may occur as a result of experiencing a traumatic event. People who have PTSD suffer from difficult memories and painful feelings that do not seem to improve over time. PTSD is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). This is the reference book that physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists use to diagnose mental disorders. Approximately 8% of the adult population of the United States will suffer from PTSD at some point during their lives, according to the DSM-IV-TR. Overall prevalence for children and adolescents is not known, but the incidence of PTSD in children exposed to traumatic events ranges from 8% to 75% for war, 19% to ...

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