Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Among Assault-Injured Youth

A recent study featuring PISC Internal Advisory Board Member and Senior Scholar Joel Fein, MD, MPH, examines the cumulative effect of contextual and demographic risk factors on Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) in vulnerable youth. The study analyzed 188 youth recently treated for an assault injury in the emergency department. Results indicated an overall decline in mental health after the initial injury. Youth who internalized symptoms experienced a decrease in PTSS, while youth who externalized symptoms experienced an increase in PTSS. Moreover, gender and stressful life events played a significant role in the mental health outcome of each patient. This study highlights the impact environment and personal factors have on PTSS in an individual, therefore requiring more specificity in the healthcare treatment of vulnerable youth.

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