DTD Assessment

DTD Assessment


The Developmental Trauma Disorder Semi-Structured Interview (DTD-SI) assesses problems with post-traumatic dysregulation for 7-18 year old children and adolescents. DTD-SI items were initially formulated by a group of content-matter experts from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Iterative revisions were made by a lead author in consultation with an expert panel, and based on the results of pilot clinical research tests of the interview at two Field Trial coordinating center sites. DTD-SI version 10.0 was used in a field trial study, The current DTD-SI version 10.6 was revised based on field trial results, and includes 15 core items (each with multiple probes for more detailed information) that correspond to the symptoms in three DTD symptom criteria sets: B. emotion/somatic dysregulation (four items; three or more required for DTD diagnosis), attentional/behavioral dysregulation (five items; two or more required for DTD diagnosis), and interpersonal/self- dysregulation (six items; two or more required for DTD diagnosis). Each DTD symptom was assessed with an initial descriptive statement designed either for adult caregivers or children eight years of age or older. Specific follow-up probe questions collect sufficient information to determine whether a symptom can be distinguished from normative developmental phenomena and was present and impaired the child/youth’s functioning in the past 30 days.

To obtain copies of the DTD-SI, contact info@complextrauma.org.

Traumatic Events Screening Inventory (TESI)

The TESI is a semi-structured interview with versions for children ages 7-18 and parents, assessing 23 behaviorally-anchored types of stressors (https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/assessment/child/tesi.asp). Items were added to the TESI to assess unexpected death of or suicide attempt/non-suicidal self-injury by someone close, a primary caregiver impaired by psychiatric disorder or substance use, emotional abuse, and neglect. Items are scored dichotomously and combined into composite categories: non-interpersonal trauma (i.e., severe accidents, illnesses, or disasters witnessed or directly experienced; animal attacks); four types of interpersonal trauma (i.e., physical abuse or assault; sexual abuse or assault; family violence; community violence), and four types of primary attachment adversity (i.e., traumatic loss due to death of or prolonged separation from primary caregiver(s) or other primary support relationships; primary caregiver(s) impaired by behavioral health problems; emotional abuse; severe neglect). TESI items have shown evidence of retest reliability and criterion/predictive validity with children (Daviss, Mooney, et al., 2000; Daviss, Racusin, et al., 2000) and in identifying developmental trauma (Spinazzola et al., 2018).

CANS-Trauma Comprehensive

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Trauma Comprehensive is a unique trauma-focused assessment strategy and multi-purpose tool that is comprehensive yet flexible. It is designed to integrate all the information gathered about the child and family in one place, (i.e., other measures, interviews, observations, etc.). The CANS can be used to track client progress over time and it also acts as a helpful “translational” tool for service and treatment planning and family engagement.

Psychotherapy for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children

A Guide for Community-Based Behavioral Health Practitioners and Agencies

The guide describes the core components of assessment of the impact of ongoing trauma with youth and young adults who are experiencing exploitation in the context of social injustice and systemic oppression. As awareness of child sex trafficking grows and systematic screening for signs of exploitation improves, the need for information about how to serve youth who are sexually exploited is all the more urgent.

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Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) Assessment Toolkit

This toolkit provides a detailed description of the DTD Semi-structured Interview (DTD-SI) and item-by-item guidance to its administration and interpretation. A summary list of related assessment measures for DTD symptoms also is appended.



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  • Schmid M, Petermann F, Fegert JM. Developmental trauma disorder: pros and cons of including formal criteria in the psychiatric diagnostic systems. BMC Psychiatry. Jan 3 2013;13:3. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-3
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