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Can a Healing Camp Boost Posttraumatic Growth among Children?. Irene Searles McClatchey, PhD, LCSW Camp MAGIK/Kennesaw State University. Resilience. Resilience – exhibited by those who do deal with a trauma without developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms

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Can a healing camp boost posttraumatic growth among children

Can a Healing Camp Boost Posttraumatic Growth among Children?

Irene Searles McClatchey, PhD, LCSW

Camp MAGIK/Kennesaw State University


Resilience
Resilience Children?

  • Resilience – exhibited by those who do deal with a trauma without developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms

  • Exhibit problem-solving abilities, self-esteem

  • Sense of competence

  • Focus on the present and the future – repressing coping style


Posttraumatic growth ptg
Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) Children?

  • Develop PTSD or PTSD symptoms

  • Grows from the experience:

    • New appreciation for life

    • Sees new possibilities

    • More compassion for others


Posttraumatic growth cont
Posttraumatic Growth, cont. Children?

  • The trauma itself does not create PTG – it is the struggle these children experience afterwards to try to understand the experience and to accept their new reality that creates PTG

    (Norwegian study)


Resilience and ptg in a nutshell
Resilience and PTG in a Nutshell Children?

  • Resilience lets children who have experienced traumatic events to adapt well in spite of the traumatic event

  • PTG involves a positive alteration created by the traumatic event and subsequent struggles


Sample
Sample Children?

  • Children and adolescents ages six-18

  • Recruited through the school system (purposive sample)

  • Expected losses included cancer; liver and respiratory failure; end-stage heart disease; multi-system failure (35%)

  • Sudden or violent losses included murder; suicide; heart attacks; drowning; car accidents; and routine surgery (65%)


Sample cont
Sample, cont. Children?

  • 65 campers were pre-tested using the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory for Children (PTGI-C)

    • Gender:

      • Males 49%

      • Females 51%

    • Ethnicities

      • White 62%

      • African American 35%

      • Latino 3%


Sample cont1
Sample, cont. Children?

  • Type of loss

    • Father 46%

    • Mother 26%

    • Guardian grandparent 9%

    • Sibling 19%

  • Age

    • 6 – 18

    • Mean 11.3 (SD=2.8)

  • Time since loss

    • 1-48 months

    • Mean 12.4 (SD=13.4)


Instrumentation
Instrumentation Children?

  • Posttraumatic Growth Inventory for Children (PTGI-C) developed by Cryder, Kilmer, Tedeschi, & Calhoun

    • Self report

    • Likert scale

      • 1(Not at all true for me)

      • 4 (Very true for me)

    • Cronbach’s alpha 0.89


Instrumentation cont
Instrumentation, cont. Children?

  • 21 questions, five domains

    • New possibilities – “I have new things that I like to do”

    • Relating to others – “I learned that some people will be there for me and help me if something bad happens”

    • Personal strength – “I learned that I can handle my problems”

    • Appreciation for life – “I feel like each day is important”

    • Spiritual change – “My spiritual/religious beliefs are stronger now”


The intervention
The Intervention Children?

  • Trauma Informed Care in a Camp Setting

    • Telling of their stories (exposure)

    • Coping skills

    • Relaxation and breathing exercises

    • Cognitive restructuring

  • Other Activities

    • Identification of feelings

    • Journaling

    • Art work

    • Traditional camp activities


Results
Results Children?

  • 32 campers completed the posttest (49%)

  • Paired samples t-test

  • Mean pre-test score=57 (SD=22.77)

  • Mean posttest score=68.28 (SD=10.28)

  • Statistically significant at the .05 level (p=0.013)


Results cont
Results, cont. Children?

  • Predictors of PTG using multiple regression:

    • Objective trauma experience (p<0.01)

    • Age only if used as a single variable (p<0.05)


Limitations
Limitations Children?

  • Design does not control for threats to internal validity (history, testing, maturation, dropout)

  • External validity – results cannot be generalized


Implications for research and practice
Implications for Research and Practice Children?

  • Use of a controlled study

  • Larger and more diverse sample

  • Provide trauma-informed care to children bereaved by trauma


References
References Children?

  • Brewer, J., & Sparkes, A. C. (2011). Parentally bereaved children and posttraumatic growth: Insights from an ethnographic study of a UK childhood bereavement service. Mortality, 16(3), 204-222.

  • Brown, A. C., Sandler, I., Tein, J., Liu, X., & Haine, R. (2007). Implications of parental suicide and violent death for promotion of resilience of parentally-bereaved children. Death Studies, 31(4), 301-335.

  • Brown, A. C., Sandler, I., Tein, J., Liu, X., & Haine, R. (2007). Implications of parental suicide and violent death for promotion of resilience of parentally-bereaved children. Death Studies, 31(4), 301-335.

  • Cryder, C. H., Kilmer, R. P., Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2006). An exploratory study of posttraumatic growth in children following a natural disaster. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(1), 65-69.

  • McClatchey, I. S., Barefoot, N. (2014). Can trauma-focused care improve posttraumatic growth – A pilot study. Under review.