Hi Tenaya -

From my study, there are several academic centers studying impact of trauma-neglect ages 0-5.  Here are the top 3 that I've found:

- Bruce Perry, MD PhD - Child Trauma Academy
www.childtrauma.org.  Based on the recognition that the brain development occurs in a sequence from the bottom up, Dr. Perry and the CTA team have developed an assessment system (NMT - Neurosequential Model) that looks at function of key sections of the child's brain, and creates a map showing which functions have developed as expected and which functions lag behind typical children at that age.  This map gives the clinicians and the family a functional picture of the child's capabilities.  Therapeutic recommendations are offered to help family and clinical staff focus (in sequence) to promote brain development to help child achieve function more typical for age.  Not surprisingly, as the child achieves mastery of core functions, there is less distress on the part of the child and improved behavior and emotional outcomes.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

- Jack Shonkoff, MD - The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard.  developingchild.harvard.edu.  Rich repository of summary reports, research papers, videos, infographics describing the impact on young children of neglect and trauma.  Two things that stand out for me:  (1) recognition that emotional and physical neglect are more prevalent and more damaging ages 0-5 than trauma.  (2) recognition by CDCH that the most powerful therapeutic tool is the family - the parent-child dyad.  The Center strongly recommends not only support of the child, but direct support of the family (with primary caregiver usually the mother).  

- National Child Traumatic Stress Network.  nctsn.org.  Another outstanding resource of research material, parent education, videos, etc. plus an on-line community.


Pat Rush




Teicher, M.H., & Samson, J.A. (2016). Annual Research Review: Enduring neurobiological effects of childhood abuse and neglect. Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 57(3), 241-266.

Research questions: "First, does childhood abuse affect brain structure and function? Second, does the type of maltreatment matter or are they all stressors? Third, does age at the time of abuse matter? Fourth, what is the temporal association between exposure and brain changes? Fifth, are boys and girls affected in the same way? Sixth, do the observed structural and functional consequences make more sense as adaptive responses or as nonspecific damage? Seventh, are the neurobiological consequences of childhood maltreatment reversible? Finally, what is the relationship between childhood abuse, brain changes and psychiatric illness?"

This article gets heavy in neuro terminology.  Ages 0-5 and specific brain effects in that age range are discussed but the paper considers maltreatment and neglect into adulthood.

My research topic is "adventure therapy as a treatment for adolescents with complex trauma". I would be keen to read your thesis as with adolescents we are treating what has happened to them beforehand including, and crucially, in the first years.

best wishes


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