Results from Phase II of the Field Trial

Phase II of the field trial piloted the Semi-Structured Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) Interview (DTD-SI) by research clinicians at five sites to a convenience sample of 236 children in pediatric or mental health care, (50% female, 47% Black or Latino/Hispanic). Children’s and caregivers also competed the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS), which was used to screen for the presence of comorbid DSM-IV-TR diagnoses and DSM-5 Field Trial pilot measures, used to screen for the presence of several DSM-5 diagnoses. In addition, lifetime trauma history was confirmed with the Traumatic Events Screening Instrument for Child or Parent Report (TESI). 91% of the sample had reported at the presence of at least one type of past potentially traumatic event, including: traumatic loss (62%), non-interpersonal traumatic stressors (e.g., severe accident, illness, or disaster, 61%), family violence (47%), severe neglect (43%), emotional abuse (28%), sexual trauma (21%),witnessing community violence (17%). Almost half the sample (48%) reported distress due to a primary caregiver with mental illness, and one quarter reported distress due to a family member being arrested (25%).

A diagnosis DTD was significantly predicted by traumatic attachment disruptions in childhood, especially when those disruptions were accompanied by experiences of interpersonal victimization. In the current study, all of the participating children who were diagnosed with DTD had histories of attachment traumas and interpersonal victimization. Moreover, Children were diagnosed with DTD also had twice as many types of interpersonal victimization as children who were not diagnosed with DTD, which is consistent with the possibility that DTD is associated with poly-victimization, exposure to multiple kinds of traumatic victimizations. While several different traumas predicted both childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and DTD, DTD was found to be uniquely associated with witnessing interpersonal violence and severe caregiver impairment. Although DTD and PTSD are similar in some of their features, PTSD, and not DTD, was associated with comorbid DSM-5 dysregulation dysregulation disorders, meaning that the DTD construct is even more distinct from other disorders than PTSD. In addition, independent of the effects of both PTSD and poly-victimization, having a DTD diagnosis was significantly associated with psychosocial impairment. These data also found support for the hypothesized symptom structure of DTD, with three interrelated but phenomenologically and empirically distinct domains of dysregulation: 1) emotion/ physiological, 2) cognitive/behavioral, and 3) interpersonal/self-identity. Analyses are currently underway from the Phase III of the field trial that includes 285 additional children and caregivers nationwide. These results are forthcoming.

We are now done with recruitment and data collection for Phase III. We have interviewed children and their caregivers across six national field trial sites in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and California. We are pleased to announce that we have achieved 95% of our original recruitment goal with a total of 285 interviews conducted nationwide.

Number of Interviews Conducted at Each Site:

Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute 1269 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446
Seneca Family of Agencies
6925 Chabot Road, Oakland, CA 94618
Baystate Family Advocacy Center at Baystate Health
50 Maple St, 3rd Floor, Springfield, MA 01102
Parkside Psychological Associates
847 N Main St, Meadville, PA 16335
Child & Adolescent Associates
919 2nd Street NE, Canton, OH 44704
Reiss Davis Child Study Center
3200 Motor Ave, Los Angeles, CA 97034

National Coordinator: Regina Musicaro, M.S.,

NEW ARTICLE: Understanding Interpersonal Trauma in Children: Why We Need a Developmentally Appropriate Trauma Diagnosis. D'Andrea, W., Ford, J., Stolbach, B., Spinazzola, J., van der Kolk, B., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2012, Vol. 82, No. 2, 187-200. CLICK HERE.


Developmental Trauma Disorder: A Proposed Model and Supporting Documentation CLICK HERE.


Organizations and entitees that have made large contributions to date include ANS Research LTD, the Timothy and Michele Barakett Foundation, the Cammack Family Gift Fund, the J.D. Salinger Trust, Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Wellspring Foundation, The Holborn Foundation, The Lookout Foundation and the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. As every donation is deeply valued irrespective of amount, we have compiled a list of DTD Field Trial contributers (aside from those who request anonymity) which can be viewed by clicking HERE.


TRAUMA CENTER IN THE NEWS: Suffolk University and the Trauma Center at JRI Receive $3 Million National Child Traumatic Stress Network Grant


Books by Trauma Center Faculty and Colleagues available on