DSM-V PTSD diagnostic criteria for children and adolescents: A developmental perspective and recommendations



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: ERRATUM Volume 26, Issue 1, 173, Article first published online: 5 February 2013

  • This work was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The views, opinions, and content are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or DHHS.

    Appendix A contributors: Alicia F. Lieberman, University of California San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry; Frank W. Putnam, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Bradley C. Stolbach, LaRabida Children's Hospital, Chicago Child Trauma Center; Douglas F. Zatzick, University of Washington at Harborview, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Preston Finley assisted with manuscript preparation. Reprinted with permission from the Proposed DSM-5 Draft, American Psychiatric Association (Copyright © 2009). Proposed DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria and any DSM-5 draft materials are not final. (The online version of this article was amended on February 5, 2013, to include the preceding acknowledgment of copyright and permission.)


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) should ensure systematic attention to age-specific manifestations and selective modifications of the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among children and adolescents. The authors propose developmental refinements to the conceptual framework for PTSD based on an appreciation of the different neurosignatures of danger and safety, and maturational processes that underlie symptom presentation. This includes preliminary evidence for the developmental salience of additional dimensions for PTSD (e.g., recklessness and thrill-seeking). The authors provide conservative recommendations for DSM-V diagnostic criteria that primarily highlight age-related developmental manifestations that, if included in the accompanying text, would bring a richer appreciation of developmentally linked symptom presentations.