Adding Trauma-Informed Care at a Bereavement Camp to Facilitate Posttraumatic Growth: A Controlled Outcome Study

Irene Searles McClatchey, Rachel Francis Raven


Background: Studies on posttraumatic growth (PTG) among bereaved youth are rare; outcome studies on how to facilitate PTG among this population are even more scarce. Objectives: This study examined the addition of trauma-informed care to bereavement interventions to foster PTG in youth attending a weekend-long bereavement camp. Method: A total of 105 participants completed standardized measures of posttraumatic growth and posttraumatic stress disorder after which 52 of the participants took part in a camp session. Ninety-five of the participants from both groups were post-tested four weeks after the camp session. Results: Multiple Regression showed that PTG scores were significantly greater at posttest for the treatment group. No significant changes in PTSD were found in either group, although the presence of dissociative symptoms decreased significantly among campers in the treatment group. Conclusions: Findings suggest trauma-informed care may increase posttraumatic growth among youth coping with loss. Implications for future studies and clinical practice are discussed


Posttraumatic growth; trauma-informed care; childhood bereavement; bereavement camp; posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms

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