Theme 1 
Resilience and recovery in adult survivors of childhood maltreatment
Theme leader: Miranda Olff

The first theme the Global Collaboration decided to focus on was on the impact childhood abuse and neglect in adults (see also Schnyder et al., 2017). The group collected guidelines worldwide, providing the basis for a synthesized core guide for prevention and treatment that can be customized for specific cultural contexts resulting ‘Internet information on Childhood Abuse and Neglect’ (iCAN). The group also recognized there was no instrument available for screening of the wide range of potential outcomes of trauma, which resulted in the development of the Global Psychotrauma Screen (GPS).  The group further focused on the validation of the Computerized Childhood Attachment and Relational Trauma Screen (CARTS), a self-report measure designed to measure occurrences of childhood maltreatment, and its translation into multiple languages. 


1.    iCAN: The development of Internet Information on Childhood Abuse and Neglect (iCAN).  iCAN in all languages can be found here.

2.    GPS:  The development of a short screener of the wide range of potential consequences of trauma: Global Psychotrauma Screen (GPS) Find out more here.

3.    CARTS: A novel online survey methodology: Childhood Attachment and Relational Trauma Screen (CARTS) Fill it in yourself here.

Theme 2
Forcibly displaced persons
Theme leader: Angela Nickerson

There are currently over 70 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, with more than 29 million of these being refugees and asylum-seekers (UNHCR, 2019). Rates of psychological disorders are elevated amongst individuals from a refugee background. It is critical that rigorous research be conducted to understand the factors that influence mental health in refugees and asylum-seekers. The development of an evidence base relating these factors will directly inform policies and practices to support individuals who have been exposed to persecution and displacement.

Projects are currently being developed to address this theme.


1. D-STRESS: Post-displacement stressors and mental health of refugees and asylum-seekers. Read more here.

Theme 3 
Global prevalence of stress and trauma related disorders 
Theme leader: Phil Hyland

Approximately 70% of the world’s population have been exposed to a traumatic life event, and the resulting mental health problems represent a major challenge to public mental health services, globally. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the primary diagnostic manual used by health professionals worldwide. All United Nations member states are committed to using the ICD-11, and relevant to psychotraumatologists, ICD-11 provides novel descriptions of stress-related psychopathology compared to the ICD-10 and the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). ...  Read more here.



1. G-Stress: A global assessment of the ICD-11 stress-related disorders. Read more here.

Theme 4 
Socio-emotional development across cultures
Theme leader: Monique Pfaltz

Childhood maltreatment (abuse and neglect) has long-term effects on mental and physical health. It also negatively impacts social functioning, which, in turn, is closely linked to health and well-being. Projects under this topic will mainly use experimental methods to assess cognitive, behavioral, physiological and emotional aspects of social functioning and interpersonal interactions. The aim of these projects is to identify factors that underlie healthy (e.g. satisfying close relationships) and impaired social functioning (e.g. difficulties with setting boundaries, regulating closeness and distance, or processing and interpreting non-verbal interpersonal signals like facial expressions) in those affected by childhood maltreatment. Findings shall provide a basis for the development of interventions improving social functioning and thus health and well-being.


1. CROSS-ER: Cross cultural Emotion Recognition in traumatized individuals across the life span. Read more here.

2. CM SEC: Child Maltreatment: identifying Socio-Emotional Consequences . Read more here.

Theme 5
Collaborating to make traumatic stress research data “FAIR”
Theme leader: Nancy Kassam-Adams

The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data stewardship state that data should be Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable, and Re-usable (FAIR). These principles are part of the growing movement toward more open and transparent science.  Making traumatic stress research data more FAIR can promote better science, enhance understanding of trauma impact and recovery, and ultimately benefit trauma-exposed individuals and communities around the world.  But to date most traumatic stress studies have not been designed with data preservation, sharing, or re-use in mind.  Projects in this theme will create resources that can facilitate FAIR data across the field of traumatic stress studies.


1. FINDABLE TRAUMA DATA: Can we make traumatic stress data more findable?  Read more.

(Project leaders: Yaara Sadeh and Anna Denejkina)

2. REUSABLE TRAUMA DATA: “Sharing data is not enough - data need to tell their stories.” Reusability depends on .... Read more. (Project leaders: Nancy Kassam-Adams and Maya O’Neil)

3. CHILD TRAUMA DATA: An international collaborative group of investigators has created ....Read more.

(Project leader: Nancy Kassam-Adams)

4. TRAUMATIC GRIEF DATA: This project will focus on building an archive for data on adult and childhood grief after traumatic and nontraumatic loss. ....Read more.

(Project leader: Paul Boelen)

5. TOOLKIT FOR FAIR TRAUMATIC STRESS DATA: This project aims to make available a toolkit of resources that can help traumatic stress researchers create datasets that are more FAIR.  ....Read more. 

(Project leader: Talya Greene)

Theme 6
Global crises 
Theme leaders: Sara Freedman and Tatiana Davidson
Global COVID-19-related traumatic stress activities

The COVID-19 outbreak is a global problem, an unprecedented pandemic, a public health emergency of international concern that threatens lives and well-being of the world population. It is also affecting health care professionals on the front lines, as well as mental health professionals providing psychosocial support. 

As the COVID-19 outbreak is a global problem, it also requires a global solution. Therefore, global collaborating is vital, i.e. working together on COVID-19-related traumatic stress aspects (policies, best practices and research).

We will need to address how people may respond differently to the crisis around the world, how to best communicate about the outbreak and its consequences - taking culture, gender and age aspects into account - how to provide peer support to health workers or other affected professionals, and what are (online) interventions that are needed at a later stage.


...Read more

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