Background: Studies that identify children after acute trauma and prospectively track risk/protective factors and trauma responses over time are resource-intensive; small sample sizes often limit power and generalizability. The Prospective studies of Acute Child Trauma and Recovery (PACT/R) Data Archive was created to facilitate more robust integrative cross-study data analyses.

Objectives: To (a) describe creation of this research resource, including harmonization of key variables; (b) describe key study- and participant-level variables; and (c) examine retention to follow-up across studies.

Methods: For the first 30 studies in the Archive, we described study-level (design factors, retention rates) and participant-level (demographic, event, traumatic stress) variables. We used Chi square or ANOVA to examine study- and participant-level variables potentially associated with retention.

Results: These 30 prospective studies (N per study = 50 to 568; overall N = 5499) conducted by 15 research teams in 5 countries enrolled children exposed to injury (46%), disaster (24%), violence (13%), traffic accidents (10%), or other acute events. Participants were school-age or adolescent (97%), 60% were male, and approximately half were of minority ethnicity. Using harmonized data from 22 measures, 24% reported significant traumatic stress ≥1 month post-event. Other commonly assessed outcomes included depression (19 studies), internalizing/externalizing symptoms (19), and parent mental health (19). Studies involved 2 to 5 research assessments; 80% of participants were retained for ≥2 assessments. At the study level, greater retention was associated with more planned assessments. At the participant level, adolescents, minority youth, and those of lower socioeconomic status had lower retention rates.

Conclusion: This project demonstrates the feasibility and value of bringing together traumatic stress research data and making it available for re-use. As an ongoing research resource, the Archive can promote ‘FAIR’ data practices and facilitate integrated analyses to advance understanding of child traumatic stress.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in European Journal of Psychotraumatology, v. 11, issue 1.

© 2020 The Author(s)

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

Development of the PACT/R Data Archive funded in part by the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) R21MH086304 and the US National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) R03HD092720.

Related Content

The data that support the findings of this study are available upon request from the PACT/R Data Archive. https://childtraumadata.org/use-pactr-data