Complex Trauma in Childhood, a Psychiatric Diagnosis in Adulthood: Making Meaning of a Double-Edged Phenomenon (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308920944_Complex_Trauma_in_Childhood_a_Psychiatric_Diagnosis_in_Adulthood_Making_Meaning_of_a_Double-Edged_Phenomenon
Complex trauma in childhood is defined as “the experience of multiple, chronic and
prolonged, developmentally adverse traumatic events, most often of an interpersonal nature, often within the child’s caregiving system” (van der Kolk, 2005, p.2). These events may include sexual abuse, physical abuse or neglect, emotional abuse or neglect, or the witnessing of violence within the family system (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013). Complex traumatic events in childhood and their potential for negative outcomes in adult life differ from ‘simple trauma’, or a single traumatic event, such as natural disaster.