In children, trauma - a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, can profoundly affect the developing brain and body, leading to lifelong physical, developmental and mental health problems. Among U.S. children, 68% experience at least one traumatic event. In 2013, only 4% of pediatricians who responded to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Periodic Survey were familiar with childhood trauma. Yet, pediatricians are likely to be the first, and often only professionals who encounter the 68% of American children who have experienced trauma.

In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with other organizations, implemented a national educational program titled, Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment and Resilience (PATTeR).



Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment and Resilience (PATTeR) Project Overview

The Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment and Resilience (PATTeR) is a collaborative project between the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Pediatrics, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). PATTeR’s primary goal is to educate pediatricians and pediatric health care professionals about childhood trauma to improve identification, care, management, and outcomes of millions of traumatized children, via multiple AAP venues.

PATTeR is working on creating a trauma responsive leadership who will both implement practice change and promote the transformation of pediatrics to a trauma responsive system of care. In addition, PATTeR is developing resources such as infographics, video case vignettes, and Child Health Advice for Trauma (CHAT), which includes brief anticipatory guidance, parent handouts and other tools for pediatricians addressing various aspects of trauma.


The resources below provide information and guidance on implementing trauma informed care (TIC) in pediatric settings.

Contact Us

The Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment and Resilience (PATTeR) Project welcomes comments and questions. If you are interested in PATTeR training, becoming a trauma-responsive leader, or receiving education in quality improvement.

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Treating Toxic Stress - Episode 72

Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, interview Andrew Garner, MD, PhD, FAAP, about using “relational health” to prevent and mitigate toxic stress. 

Pediatrics on Call


August 3, 2021

Pictures Speak: Helping Teens Capture Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Learn about a project aimed to better understand adolescent patients with depression using PhotoVoice, a research methodology that uses photography to empower participants to inform others and actively engage in decisions that affect their lives.

Voices Blog


October 21, 2016