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Publication Date


Document Type



School for Social Work


Psychic trauma in children-Treatment, Adventure therapy for children, Adventure therapy for teenagers, African American children-Psychology, African American teenagers-Psychology, Trauma, Children, Adolescent, Adventure-based psychotherapy, General functioning


This research explores the clinical benefits of adventure-based group psychotherapy on the general functioning of both male and female (N=46) traumatized pre- and earlyadolescent (9-15 years) children of color in San Francisco between 1998 and 2009. Participants completed the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) before and again one-year after the program. The results indicate that the adventure-based group psychotherapy program provides measurable improvements in general functioning for traumatized Latino, Asian American, and Caucasian pre- and early-adolescent children, while measurable declines in the general functioning of traumatized African American children are evident. The results indicate that no single treatment modality is sufficient to address the higher prevalence of complex, cultural, and environmental trauma affecting African American children. Improvements in diagnostic accuracy, participation rates, and continuous access to comprehensive mental health treatment, crisis intervention, wraparound services, coordination and collaboration across disciplines, and other mental health services are indicated.




iv, 80 p. Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-80)