Versorgung traumatisierter Vorschulkinder: Besonderheiten bei 3- bis 6-jährigen Kindern mit Fluchthintergrund

Translated title of the contribution: Treatment of traumatized preschool children: Characteristics in 3- to 6-year-old refugee children

Andrea Hahnefeld, Katharina Münch, Sigrid Aberl, Peter Henningsen, Volker Mall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Almost one third of asylum applications in Germany are currently made for children up to the age of 6 years. These children have often been exposed to potentially traumatic situations before, during and after flight as well as elevated stress levels due to changing environmental conditions, which increase the vulnerability for trauma sequelae and other health-related problems later on. After professionally performed diagnostics a timely and targeted treatment can help to minimize the negative effects of early childhood traumatization, even in cases of severely aversive experiences. This article first presents the symptoms, attributes and characteristic features of trauma sequelae in young children with refugee experience in a clear manner. The use of a standardized method of questioning, a participative and child-centered approach and the additional assessment from an external perspective by the pedagogical personnel, increase the validity and objectivity of the diagnostic conclusion, with respect to the symptoms of trauma sequelae in children. It could be shown that the parent rating appears to be sufficiently specific, but the sensitivity can be improved by the multiprofessional approach. The treatment should be carried out by incorporating structures in the child’s environment, working with the caregivers and prioritizing safety and regulatory aspects. It is recommended to begin as broad and as low threshold as possible in the social environment of the child while addressing the education of the pedagogical personnel and psychoeducation of the parents. In the further course, various psychotherapeutic methods can be implemented within the framework of the stressor-based approach, which actively support the child in the processing of the trauma, with a focus on strengthening the self-efficacy and providing conditions that enhance development.

Translated title of the contributionTreatment of traumatized preschool children: Characteristics in 3- to 6-year-old refugee children
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)1077-1084
Number of pages8
JournalMonatsschrift fur Kinderheilkunde
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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