Statement of Purpose Ascertaining an accurate and cumulative history of exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTE) can be valuable in identifying violently-injured youth’s recovery needs. It is unclear how youth and caregiver report of youth’s PTEs relate to each other. We examined agreement between youth and caregiver self-report of 23 different PTEs following the youth’s recent violent injury.
Methods As part of a larger survey, 48 youth ages 8–18 and their caregiver independently completed a self-administered Trauma History Questionnaire (THQ) within approximately 20 days following the youth’s Emergency Department visit for a violent injury. We compare youth and caregiver reports of youth PTEs and identify PTEs with the greatest and least agreement.
Results Mean youth participant age was 13.8±2.2 years; 42% were female, 96% reported nonpenetrating injuries. The average number of PTEs was 9±4 by youth report and 8±4 by caregiver report. For 13 of the PTEs there was >50% youth-parent discordance, wherein the youth reported the PTE and the caregiver did not. Youth and caregiver agreement exceeded 80% for three PTEs, the highest of which reported someone physically hurting or threatening the child.
Conclusion Although youth and parents are reporting a similar number of youth PTEs, there are a substantial number of PTEs for which youth report but parents do not and a small number of PTEs where they usually agree.
Significance and Contributions to Injury and Violence Prevention Science Violently injured youth and their parents often disagree about the youth’s exposure to PTEs. This could reflect a youth’s failure to disclose the PTEs to their parent, or a difference in their respective appraisals of what events are considered potentially traumatic. Further research will explore how these discrepancies may inform mental health treatment of violently injured youth in the peri-traumatic recovery period.
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