While a great deal of research has focused on the differences in the experiences of male and female trauma survivors, existing studies have primarily looked at the types of traumatic events encountered and females’ increased likelihood of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Conversely, there has been relatively little attention to how a person’s sex may play a role in patients’ responses to trauma-focused treatment. The limited number of studies that do focus on this vary too widely to draw any conclusions. Furthermore, trauma symptoms are typically assessed only at the beginning and end of treatment which fails to account for the possibility of fluctuation throughout the process. In order to better understand how to treat trauma survivors, which methods are effective, for whom, and under which circumstances, investigators have suggested isolating the components of the treatment process, thus allowing the opportunity to assess whether differences exist between males and females at various stages (Cary & McMillen, 2012; Knutsen & Jensen, 2017).  

Building on prior knowledge and addressing the need for more research specifically on youth exposed to trauma, this study explores the progression of PTSD symptoms during treatment to assess how individual treatment phases impacted symptom reduction and to determine whether gender-based differences exist