Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in Childhood

Please address the following 3 points after reading the case study.

Here are some resources. To use

Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in Childhood .

Chapter 31, “Child Psychiatry” (pp. 1216–1226)
1 What strategy would you employ to assess the patient for abuse? Explain why you selected these strategies.

2 How might exposure to the media and/or social media affect the patient?

3 What type of mandatory reporting (if any) is required in this case? Why?

Child Abuse Case Study

NURS 6660: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role I: Child and Adolescent

Morgan, a 19-year-old male comes to your office to discuss his current mood and symptoms. This is his first visit to a mental health clinic. “I’ve had 26 jobs in the last 2 years; I finally have a job that I like and I want to make it work.” As you begin to get to know him, he tells you that his mood is down and that he also has times where he has “More energy and motivation”: “That’s when I are able to get a new job.” He says that he has difficulty interacting with coworkers. “I feel like I can’t talk to them.” If it wasn’t for his supportive girlfriend, he wouldn’t be able to function. “She understands me and

accepts me; she knows what I have been through.”

As the PMHNP listens to the client and explores what he means by some of his statements, you try to put together his story. He mentions that he has been having nightmares and is not sleeping well. He says he startles easily. He becomes withdrawn when he begins to talk about the reason for the nightmares Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in Childhood .


“This all started a few weeks ago when a cousin of mine got out of jail.” He haltingly tells the story of his parents’ mental illness and how he had to live with various relatives.

“One cousin who I stayed with a lot took advantage of me. He molested me.” They found out he also molested other children and he went to jail. “It gives me the creeps that he is out of jail. I have to face what he did to me.”

Morgan asks about his diagnosis. The PMHNP tells him that he has some symptoms that sound like depression and anxiety, and that when a child has a traumatic experience, it can reoccur and stay with a person for many years. He acknowledges that he thought about PTSD but wasn’t sure what the symptoms look like.

As you think about Morgan’s story, consider the following questions: Where did he fall between the cracks? Are there agencies who advocate for children like him?

There are thousands of children like Morgan. They were in a vulnerable family situation and the “responsible” adult was not able to care for the child. Sometimes it takes years for clients to remember and disclose the abuse.


Abuse refers to intentional harm or maltreatment irrespective of the source. In this case, the victim suffers physical, sexual and/or psychological harm from the perpetrator. Given that the perpetrator is typically a person in a position of power while the victim is in a position of weakness, then it is important that independent third parties are introduced to equalize or neutralize the power imbalance. This would allow for the abuse to be identified and assessed, before a solution is implemented that addresses the negative effects of the abuse on the patient to include psychological and physical effects (Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A. & Ruiz, 2014). The present paper evaluates the approaches that can be adopted to evaluate abuse in a teenage client.

What strategies would you employ to assess the patient for abuse? Explain why you selected these strategies.

The teenage client should be assessed using three strategies. Firstly, the client should be interviewed and allowed to present an account of his situation to include his perspective on the abuse, how he is coping, and what he hopes to achieve in terms of recovery. Additionally, he would express his feelings about the perpetrator and the people around him. The therapist would use the collected information to develop the client’s abuse profile. Secondly, the people in close contact with the client should be interviewed. These include family members, neighbors and friends. They would offer insight on any changes to the client’s personality, behavior, expressions and emotions. Given their close contact with the client, they would be sensitive to the changes, and able to point out if the abuse had an effect. Finally, the client should be subjected to clinical assessment that identifies whether he is still undergoing any abuse and whether a corrective medical procedure is required (McCoy & Keen, 2013)Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in Childhood .

How might exposure to the media and/or social media affect the patient?

Exposing the client to media that contains information about abuse could have a complementary and additive effect on his recovery. Through this information, the client can come to terms with his situation particularly when exposed to the fact that his case is not unique and there are others who have similarly been abuse but lived through the situation. Other than that, it could inform the patient on how to access public resources intended to victims of abuse to include police and therapists contact (Teti, 2016).

What type of mandatory reporting (if any) is required in this case? Why?

Mandatory reporting refer to the legal requirements that force certain individual to make reports of suspected or confirmed abuse. In the present case, mandatory reporting would cover certain individuals who come into contact with the patient to include social workers, school personnel, medical personnel, mental health personnel and law enforcement officers. These individuals can use their professional experience and knowledge to identify cases of abuse and document evidence thereby making them ideal for making reports (Mathews & Bross, 2015).


One must access that abuse exposes victims to physical, sexual and psychological harm. For victims of abuse, it is important that they undergo an assessment to get a clear picture of their situation before an intervention can be implemented. Besides the assessment, there are professionals who have close contact with the patient and expected to make mandatory report for suspected or confirmed cases.


Mathews, B. & Bross, D. (2015). Mandatory reporting laws and the identification of severe child abuse and neglect. New York, NY: Springer.

McCoy, M. & Keen, S. (2013). Child abuse and neglect (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Teti, D. (2016). Parenting and family processes in child maltreatment and intervention. Cham: Springer Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in Childhood .

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