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Cognitive Processes and Post-traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents

About the Course

Post-traumatic stress is a common reaction to exposure to trauma in children and adolescents. While some trauma-exposed youth go on to have persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), many children and adolescents who initially have a severe traumatic stress response will undergo a natural recovery. The study presented in this article/course investigated the role of cognitive processes in shaping early reactions of child and adolescents to traumatic stressors and in making the transition to persistent clinically significant post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Additionally, the clinical and theoretical implications and limitations of the current study will be covered, as well as recommendations for future research.

This course is based on the article, A Core Role for Cognitive Processes in the Acute Onset and Maintenance of Post-traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents created by Richard Meiser-Stedman, PhD, et al. in 2019.

Publication Date:

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 60:8 (2019), pp 875–884 Mar 2019

Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Richard Meiser-Stedman, PhD

Richard Meiser-Stedman is a Professor with the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich Medical School. His main research interest is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents. From 2009 to 2014 Dr Meiser-Stedman was an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. While there he led the ASPECTS study, looking at whether PTSD in children and adolescents can be successfully treated using cognitive therapy in the early aftermath of a trauma. He has published more than 100 articles in peer reviewed journals.

Anna McKinnon, PhD

Anna McKinnon is an Honorary Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia. She is a researcher and clinician who has had articles and chapters published in a wide range of journals and books, and has spoken at local and international conferences.

Clare Dixon, PhD

Clare Dixon is affiliated with Sussex Partnership National Health Service Foundation Trust, Sussex, UK. She has published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals.

Course Creator

Anna Lynn Hollis, Ph.D., School Psychologist

Anna Hollis, Ph.D., NCSP, is a nationally certified school psychologist currently living near Detroit, Michigan. She is licensed as a psychologist in 2 states (Michigan and South Carolina) and certified as a school psychologist in in 5 states (South Carolina, Michigan, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Maryland). She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP); the Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP); and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). Dr. Hollis obtained her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Her professional interests include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Positive Psychology; Trauma-Informed Practice; and Urban School Psychology.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Recognize post-trauma stress responses in children and adolescents.
  2. Identify the cognitive processes which contribute to differential responses and trajectories regarding post-traumatic stress responses in children and adolescents.
  3. Discuss which interventions have been found to be ineffective for children and adolescents with post-traumatic stress.
  4. Describe the factors which impact recovery from post-traumatic stress symptoms.
  5. Discuss the clinical and theoretical implications of the current study, as well as the limitations and recommendations for future research.

Disclosure to Learners

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity – including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).

The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and the reviewer:

Planners and Reviewers

The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.

Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

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Course Number 103231
1 CE credit hour
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $5.97
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