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Literature Review Sample

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literature review sampleIn the past one decade, there has been an increased concern about children being exposed to various traumatic events and violence. Most of them end up developing the post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Therefore the health practitioners should identify and treat PTSD reactions among children. Various studies give evidence that trauma and violence cause severe effects on the psychological development of a child. In addition, after a review of many studies the results indicate that the impact of trauma and violence on the psychological development of the child and most of the results indicate that PTSD and depression disorder is among the major complications. This paper reviews some of the empirical studies and research findings based on the PTSD, major depression disorders, and effects of trauma and violence on children’s psychological development


Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are among the identified illnesses that are caused by disturbing events witnessed or encountered by an individual (Stensland, 2014). Such disorders are clinically and psychologically approved to cause psychological problems to children. Many people in the world experience traumatic events that vary from one to another Olema, et al., 2014). For instance, there are car and airplane accidents, sexual abuse as well as domestic violence. Study shows that, the effects of traumatic events lead to PTSD and other psychiatric related diseases, such as depression, anxiety, panic, lack of socialization, isolated identity disorder, bipolar, personality development disorder and schizophrenia (Debell, et al., 2041). Many cases have been reported as children having experienced traumatic events physically, emotionally or sexually. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review on the PTSD and major depression disorders as a result of the trauma and violence on children’s psychological development.

According to, Stensland (2014), Trauma is an experience that one goes through emotionally or physically leading to the physical and psychological stress. It comes as a result of a single event, series of events or situations that are emotionally harmful and threatening to the child. Study shows that many cases of traumatic events happen some indicate single while other indicate severally. For instance, research reveal that he cases of stress always triggers the fighting for survival responses in the child (Karam,et al., 2014).

According to a study by Debell, et al., (2041) childhood trauma affects the child’s psychological development in future and the results show up later in life. Children who undergo events that threaten their life always develop a personality with low self-esteem.the authors’ state that the traumatic events lead to the following symptoms: mood swings, emotional instability, anxiety, anger, impulsiveness, aggression, depression as well as dissociation. They emphasize violence leads to PTSD and depression. (Jooste, 2014), emphasizes that the early forms of trauma usually alters the perception of the child where they lack self trust and develop a low self esteem. Maritz adds that, a child who undergoes through severe trauma usually creates the sense of foreshortening. They always fear to live as they see the future not promising since it is even more dangerous .

Debell, et al., (2041), asserts that adverse experiences that trauma causes in the early years of development of the child. This affects the interpersonal relationship of the child later when he grows up. The violence and trauma that a child experiences also affects their well being and that is transferred to adulthood. Most of the stated experiences include neglect and child abuse in any form such as sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse. According an investigation by Debell, et al., (2041) emphases that an interference of the welfare of the child also affects their developmental framework

In addition, (Karam,et al., 2014), identified that children who go through traumatic events usually shows the negative social behavior, and have problem in the mental and physical development. According to the empirical studies carried on various people, the results indicate that childhood trauma results into PTSD as compared to the trauma caused when one is an adult. The researchers used a sample from Middle East where there were many cases of violence and the results indicate that childhood trauma was associated with most cases of PTSD that those in childhood experience (Karam,et al., 2014).

A similar research by Olema, et al., (2014), indicates that there are some hidden cases of maltreatment that appears later in adulthood. Most of the people in war regions had traumatizing events caused by violence but the symptoms did not show therefore the effects reflected back later during adulthood. In this article, there were major events that were conducted on the effect of trauma Debell, et al., (2041). In this case, the questionnaires were developed and given to various participants. Most women reported the cases of physical violence and the children also stated both sexual and domestic violence whereas some men stated the emotional abuse that they experienced during those times (Karam,et al., 2014). The study concluded that the effects of trauma and violence reflect back in adulthood. Since most of the parents had lived in the times of the war, they therefore transferred their anger and aggressiveness to the children in marriage. In the same study, those children who had various forms of abuse indicated the symptoms of denial, hopelessness, depression, anxiety among others (Karam,et al., 2014)

Nickerson, et al., (2014), reviewed data on the psychological abuse as evaluated in the relevant literature; the research findings indicated that at least 10% of the children in the United States experienced psychological abuse a year. According to the study, some had sustained the abuse while others could not; the results indicated that the adults would sustain abuse more than children. In addition, the children could not sustain physical abuse, as most of them had the negative effects that reflected later (Karam,et al., 2014)The authors argued that even though child abuse through sexual violence was common among women however, the end results affected both men and women and the children seemed to suffer long-term effects.

A study was performed to investigate how trauma affects the psychological development as a result of psychological distress, neglect and family conflicts (Debell, et al., 2014). This was done on ten participants to identify the traumatic events that the families face and their effects to their children. According to the research findings, ten out percent of the American families undergo through various traumatic events and this causes psychological and biological changes resulting from the Post-traumatic stress Disorder. In many cases, the Americans experience war and that leads to shock and such people could not be able to adopt to life as most of them came with PTSD syndrome resulting from the impact of trauma (Debell, et al., 2041).

Another investigation by Karam,et al., (2014)on the relationship between PTSD and alcohol use as a result of trauma and violence. In this research, a systematic review was done, and various traumatic events were investigated that might have led to the PTSD. Many people reported having trouble working, maintain good relationships, and the parents were not able to parent their children. This indicates that trauma causes PTSD which interferes with brain development and psychological well being. Such victims showed symptoms of brain damage, showing some abnormalities, due to PTSD exposure. They also indicated changes in their memories as most of them had memory lapses (Debell, et al., 2041).

The PTSD is an environmental shock that changes the brain functioning. In the United States, study indicates that at least 60% of men and 50 % of female had gone through such experiences due to frequent wars (Karam,et al., 2014). However, 9% men and 20% women had been diagnosed with PTSD due to rape, war, and violence. Most women indicated the abnormalities in the children they had, as well as the pregnant mothers had children who had the psychiatric disorder. Most of the victims suffered major depression disorders such as anxiety apart from PTSD and some children indicated social phobia. This was also associated with the healthy related behavior such as drag and alcohol abuse (Karam,et al., 2014)

Jooste & Maritz, 2014), emphasize that, the impact of depression and anxiety that are caused by war. A research was done to the Vietnam people to investigate the effects of PTSD as results of war. Study indicates that more than 1.7 million people in Vietnam had experienced trauma as a result of war leading to PTSD disorder. However, 60% had more serious and complicated diseases but only 5% of the victims had the problem resulting from injury (Karam,et al., 2014). A similar study was conducted to the black Americans those who had been exposed to traumatic events as a result of war. Majority of the victims had developed PTSD syndrome and the higher percentage was from those who had a direct impact. Most of those affected were children as they indicated the symptoms of abnormalities, brain damage, anxiety and other related diseases which came as a result of trauma from the war (Debell, et al., 2041).

Olema, et al., (2014) adds that the impact was because the case was done repetitively and that become a big impact to the psychological development. Some of the victims indicated cases of heart attack, cancer, and other serious related problems due instant threat that resulted from horror and hopelessness. Most of the refugees in the camps also suffered the same due to violence and threats especially in the native nations. Study proves that those who went through traumatic events without early treatment had developed PTSD and depression. In addition, those had difficult giving birth and the children they gave birth to had brain damage (Debell, et al., 2041)


From a comprehensive literature review, it is clearly evident that PTSD and major depression disorders, trauma and violence have an impact on the children’s psychological development. Therefore, it is recommended that the primary caregivers try to maximize their sense of security to such children (Debell, et al., 2041). In addition, they should also help these children to reduce emotions that are over-we liming. The parents who practice domestic violence should also try to address the issues that lead to trauma. In addition, concerned people should coordinate with other agencies to help such children. Finally, people need to look for ways to manage personal stress (Kisiel, et al., 2014).


From the literature review findings done above, violence and trauma leads to many complicated diseases such as Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among others. Post traumatic stress. Other effects include: panic depression, lack of socialization, isolated identity disorder, bipolar, personality development disorder, eating difficulties and schizophrenia (Debell, et al., 2041). Child traumatic stress is the physical and emotional reactions that a child receives from the caregiver. Such reactions threaten them and they may come from a very close person like a parent or sibling. Traumatic events include any physical violence that leads the child to feel terrorized, powerless, and cannot control the physiological arousal (Debell, et al., 2041). Such problems lead to the psychological development problems in the children. However, it is indicated that even the hereditary factors led to the development of these problems. Such as those parents who experienced Traumatic events especially in the European nations as a result of frequent wars transferred the same to the children they gave birth (Kisiel, et al., 2014).


Debell, F., Fear, N. T., Head, M., Batt-Rawden, S., Greenberg, N., Wessely, S., & Goodwin, L. (September 01, 2014). A systematic review of the comorbidity between PTSD and alcohol misuse. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology : the International Journal for Research in Social and Genetic Epidemiology and Mental Health Services, 49, 9, 1401-1425.

Jooste, K., & Maritz, J. (October 01, 2014). Youths’ experience of trauma : personal transformation through self-leadership and self-coaching : health and quality of life. African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance, 20, 91-106.

Karam, E. G., Fayyad, J., Karam, A. N., Melhem, N., Mneimneh, Z., Dimassi, H., & Tabet, C. C. (April 01, 2014). Outcome of Depression and Anxiety After War: A Prospective Epidemiologic Study of Children and Adolescents. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27, 2, 192-199.

Kisiel, C. L., Fehrenbach, T., Torgersen, E., Stolbach, B., McClelland, G., Griffin, G., & Burkman, K. (January 01, 2014). Constellations of Interpersonal Trauma and Symptoms in Child Welfare: Implications for a Developmental Trauma Framework. Journal of Family Violence, 29, 1, 1-14.

Nickerson, A., Bryant, R. A., Rosebrock, L., & Litz, B. T. (June 01, 2014). The Mechanisms of Psychosocial Injury Following Human Rights Violations, Mass Trauma, and Torture. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 21, 2, 172-191.

Olema, D. K., Catani, C., Ertl, V., Saile, R., & Neuner, F. (February 01, 2014). The Hidden Effects of Child Maltreatment in a War Region: Correlates of Psychopathology in Two Generations Living in Northern Uganda. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27, 1, 35-41.

Stensland, S. Ø., Thoresen, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., Zwart, J.-A., & Dyb, G. (December 01, 2014). Recurrent headache and interpersonal violence in adolescence: the roles of psychological distress, loneliness and family cohesion: the HUNT study. The Journal of Headache and Pain : Official Journal of the “european Headache Federation” and of “lifting the Burden – the Global Campaign against

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