Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Children
[2 volumes]
by Joy D. Osofsky and Betsy McAlister Groves, Editors
August 2018, 612pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5258-9
$116, £90, 101€, A159
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5259-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A report filed in 2017 showed that more than four million children were maltreated in the U.S. in a single year.

Explains the neurological, emotional, and behavioral impacts of violence and trauma experienced by newborns, infants, children, and teenagers.

Traumatic events known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can affect children physically, mentally, and emotionally, sometimes with long-term health and behavioral effects. Abuse, neglect, exposure to community and domestic violence, and household dysfunction all have the potential to alter brain development and behavior, but few people are able to recognize or respond to trauma in children.

Given the prevalence of childhood exposure to violence—with one in four children ages 5 to 15 living in households with only moderate levels of safety and nurturance and infants and children ages 0 to 3 comprising the highest percentage of those maltreated—it is imperative that students and professionals alike be able to identify types and consequences of violence and trauma. This book provides readers with the information they need in order to know how to detect and prevent ACEs and to help children who have lived through them.


  • Explains the effects of a range of types of violence and trauma, including child abuse, sexual abuse, family violence, teen dating violence, loss of parent or caregiver, exposure to natural disaster, and more
  • Addresses the impacts of violence and trauma during infancy and early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence
  • Details mental health interventions to encourage resilience and posttraumatic growth
  • Describes how public systems from schools to pediatric and obstetrical clinics to juvenile justice systems identify and work with children affected by violence and trauma
Joy D. Osofsky, PhD is clinical and developmental psychologist, Paul J. Ramsay Chair of Psychiatry, and Barbara Lemann Professor of Child Welfare at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Osofsky is past president of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, and the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She is a consultant to the Zero to Three Safe Babies Court Teams. She received the Sarah Haley Award for Clinical Excellence from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and a Presidential Commendation from the American Psychiatric Association.

Betsy McAlister Groves, MSW, LICSW is founding director of the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center, a program recognized nationally for its work. She holds academic appointments as lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. She served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and was appointed to the National Advisory Commission for the US Department of Justice.


2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, December 1, 2019


"Students in psychology, sociology, and in particular social work courses will find this a valuable resource because of the scope of its topics."—Library Journal, December 1, 2018

"Essential. Advanced undergraduates and above; professionals."—Choice, May 1, 2019

"Joy Osofsky and Betsy McAlister Groves offer a timely and comprehensive two-volume masterpiece on children and families who suffer violence and trauma. This is a multi-disciplinary tool that provides a current overview and systems response to improve the lives of such children and their families. This set is an invaluable resource that informs policy-makers, service providers, attorneys, and judges of every sort. Well done."—Douglas F. Johnson, Juvenile Court Judge

“If you work with children and families, this book set should be open on your desk. Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Children: Prevention and Intervention introduces the very important topic of childhood trauma, and then explores its causes and implications across a wide range of systems. It provides a comprehensive look at trauma in the family, the community, schools and the child welfare system, and it explores specialized settings such as the military and primary care pediatrics. As a retired juvenile and domestic relations judge with thirty years experience in family court, I witnessed the devastating effects of trauma on children. Trauma was a barrier to our attempts to restore social and emotion health. Had this book been available, it would have been an invaluable resource as I worked across child-serving systems to mitigate trauma and build resiliency."—Judge Michael L. Howard, Ret., Stark County Family Court, Ohio

"The editors have created a practical and concise compendium on a complex important topic in the 21st century. Over the last fifty years our understanding of childhood trauma and loss has shifted remarkably and through this comprehensive collection of chapters, the reader is able to both understand the developmental issues but also draw policy and advocacy conclusions. This book wil form the basis of many important clinical and research endeavors."—Marilyn Augustyn MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, and Division Director, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Boston Medical Center

"Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Children may be the most authoritative text describing the full range of the effects and interventions for stressed and traumatized children for the general public. It brings home the key point that child exposure to traumatic and chronically stressful experiences is a Public Health crisis that impacts all aspects of life-physical, emotional, behavioral and social. It is a call to those who are concerned about the future of our society and citizens and must be heeded."—Steven Berkowitz MD, Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado, School of Medicine, and Director, Stress Trauma and Adversity Research and Treatment (START) Center

Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Children is a timely, outstanding two-volume set covering the nature, scope, impact, prevention, treatment, advocacy, and policy implications of child traumatic stress. With scholarly, yet highly practical chapters written by seasoned experts in the field, these volumes have much to teach all of us involved in work with children, youth, families, and communities affected by violence and trauma. If you are serious about understanding cutting-edge clinical and public health approaches to child traumatic stress, these volumes are a must read.”—John A. Fairbanks, PhD, Codirector, UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine
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