Positive Adaptations for Trauma and Healing (PATH), a Pilot Study of Group Therapy With Latino Youth

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Abstract

Objective: This study examines the acceptability and preliminary efficacy of Positive Adaptations for Trauma and Healing (PATH), a manualized treatment for Latino youth and their caregivers. PATH is a culturally adapted program that incorporates a trauma model, positive psychology, and resilience. Method: Latino youth (N = 16) recruited from an urban community clinic participated in PATH with their caregiver. Pre- and postintervention measures on trauma symptoms, resilience, depression, caregiver’s view of their youth’s well-being, and positive and negative emotions were gathered. Following the intake meetings (1 to 3), the families participated in 10 90-minute weekly group sessions (total of 3 groups). Caregiver groups were conducted in Spanish, and youth in English. Results: At pretest, 56% of the youth endorsed clinically significant symptoms on the UCLA PTSD Index (M = 34.2, SD = 11.2); the percentage dropped to 0% at posttest (M = 17.3, SD = 7.6). Youth reported pre- to posttest reductions on the Child Depression Inventory (mean difference [Mdiff] = 7.3; p = .004) and externalizing (Mdiff = 6.1; p < .001) and internalizing (Mdiff = 9.4; p < .001) behaviors on the caregiver-reported Child Behavior Checklist. Overall, there was high treatment engagement (93% attendance over 10 weeks). Conclusion: This novel treatment engaged a community-based Latino sample. The results suggest high acceptability and significant reduction in trauma symptoms and associated symptoms. This study included a small number of participants and results should be interpreted with caution. Future iterations will target larger number of participants to further assess feasibility.

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