PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes the latest evidence and developments in the validation of PTSD diagnostic criteria for children 6 years and under (PTSD<6Y), discusses the limitations of the current diagnostic criteria, and highlights areas for future research.
RECENT FINDINGS: Research has found that the DSM-5 PTSD<6Y, and a similar version in the DC:0-5, currently provides the most developmentally sensitive classification of PTSD for young children. In contrast, preliminary evidence suggests that the ICD-11 criteria might not appropriately capture PTSD in young children. The inclusion of PTSD<6Y, the first developmental subtype in the DSM-5, represents an important step towards having a diagnostic system that is developmentally sensitive and relevant across the life span. However, further validation work and research with regard to the definition of trauma and functional impairment as well as with the age-appropriate description of symptoms is needed, especially in the youngest age group (0-3 years).