I recently came across an interesting study done a few years ago. The topic was post-traumatic stress syndrome in children following accidental injuries, such as a car wreck. The article was detailed at Medscape.
The conclusion was that children do suffer this psychological disorder following injuries. Fortunately, not all do, and those who suffer usually get better in a fairly short time. The study is a bit dense, but worth reading. Here is part of the conclusion:
This study explored PTSS patterns over time for children after a range of accidental injuries which resulted in admission to hospital. As expected, on average, total symptoms declined rapidly over time. This pattern of decline in overall symptom rates has been observed in studies of both children and adults (Kahana et al., 2006; Mather et al., 2003; Max et al., 1998; Orcutt et al., 2004). However, using more advanced statistical methods three optimum trajectories were found describing children who were resilient to stress following accidental injury and hospital admission (57%), children who exhibited high levels of stress symptoms immediately post trauma but recovered quickly (33%), and children with chronic stress symptoms (10%). These symptom trajectories also reflect patterns described by Bonanno, Layne and their colleagues (Bonanno, 2005; Layne et al., 2009). A majority of children cope well psychologically or recover quickly following accidental trauma and this was supported in our study. However we found a small, but significant group of children who reported ongoing chronic distress.