• children;
  • young people;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • psychological distress: delayed onset;
  • road accidents


The aim of this study was to follow-up a group of children and young people previously examined for psychological sequelae following road traffic accidents. The group was assessed 18-month postaccident to assess the severity of continuing symptoms and examine any emergence of delayed onset of posttraumatic stress reactions. Participants (N = 31) completed the Revised Impact of Event Scale and the Child Posttraumatic Stress Reaction Index. Parents completed the Child Behavior Check-List and participated in a semistructured interview. Symptoms of PTSD were noted in a quarter of participants as was delayed onset of symptoms. The role of avoidance in symptom reporting and continuing disorder is discussed.