Traumatized Youth in Residential Treatment Settings: Prevalence, Clinical Presentation, Treatment, and Policy Implications

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Children and adolescents with histories of traumatic exposure comprise a substantial portion of youth in residential treatment programs. However, until recently, little has been known about this specific population. Given the well-documented unique treatment considerations for traumatized youth, it is important to understand how the distinct needs of this population factor into the particular residential treatment setting approach. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of this vulnerable youth population, the impact trauma exposure can have on their clinical presentation and response to treatment, and the available empirical research regarding effective intervention strategies. In addition, policy implications specific to traumatized youth receiving treatment in residential settings are discussed.