Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Christopher A. Kearney

Number of Pages



Traumatic child maltreatment can negatively impact every developmental domain of a child, when left untreated. Thus, child psychologists have recognized a critical need for treatment and prevention strategies to circumvent the negative trajectories that can develop after traumatic events. Brief Therapy for Traumatized Children (BTTC) was developed to treat traumatized youth in shelter care. Treatment components included psychoeducation, building effective coping strategies, boundary setting, anxiety management skills, challenging cognitive distortions, development of trauma narrative and journaling. One hundred-forty-seven participants from a children's shelter in Las Vegas, NV, aged 12--17 years, were voluntarily recruited and assessed for trauma symptoms. Data from fifty-eight participants were retained for evaluation of treatment efficacy. Analyses using structural equation modeling, regression equations, and chi-squared tests showed that after a very brief intervention, participants had significantly fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms and a decrease in negative coping skills post-treatment. These data suggest that BTTC could be an effective therapeutic tool to treat traumatized youths in shelter care. In addition, BTTC could easily be adapted for a variety of settings including schools, church groups, and outreach programs. The clinical implications of using BTTC to teach youths to develop insight, control emotional dysregulation, and develop effective coping strategies are discussed, as well as future research directions.


Brief; Brief Therapy; Children; Child Maltreatment; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Therapy; Traumatized; PTSD

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology; Developmental psychology

File Format


File Size

4311.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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