• abuse in schools;
  • effects of discipline;
  • childhood stress;
  • traumatic stress


The literature on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in children is rather sparse. Most accounts describe only the aftereffects of horrendous traumas. Yet there is evidence that children are also vulnerable to a wider range of stressor than adults. Since the nosology for PTSD is based upon adult psychopathology, there is a need to examine the syndrome in light of current knowledge about development, psychopathology, and ecological factors in children's lives. The purpose of this paper is to present evidence that the pattern of symptoms of PTSD in children is different from those in adults. The paradigm presented was generated by work with children and youth who were the victims of excessively punitive disciplinary practices in schools. An updated overview of the literature on PTSD in children is presented. Case studies and retrospective data are offered in support of the need to differentiate child/adolescent PTSD from adult nosology and to understand the nature of PTSD when it occurs as a result of school related abuse.