Eggshell Psyches, Crumbling Skulls, and Trauma

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Psychological Injuries: Forensic Assessment, Treatment, and Law by William J. Koch, Kevin S. Douglas, Tonia L. Nicholls, and Melanie L. O'Neill (see record 2006-04105-000). The experience of emotional injury has been a condition that has existed through out history. The legal system has always acknowledged and accepted emotional injuries that stemmed from intentional torts such as battery. In 1948, the Restatement of Torts brought about compensation through the legal system for extreme behavior that caused deliberate infliction of emotional injury (Linden, 1997). The courts had more difficulty recognizing negligent infliction of emotional distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was added to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). This diagnosis did much to influence the law and validate compensation for emotional injuries. The book under review presents an in-depth review of the interaction effects of social economic factors, gender, culture, and the type of stressors (e.g., witness, personal assault, natural disaster)–nowhere so carefully crafted and thoroughly researched as in this book. They review the research and statistics of trauma caused by motor vehicle accidents, assault, rape, natural disasters, workplace harassment, stalking, and bystander witness of traumatic events. The authors also review research on the interaction of the type of trauma with gender, race, culture, and preexisting conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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