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Longitudinal Study: BNLA
Title: Parental trajectories of PTSD and child adjustment: Findings from the Building a New Life in Australia study
Authors: Reid, Kyla
Berle, David
Publication Date: 2020
Journal: The American journal of orthopsychiatry
Keywords: PTSD
Mental Health
Abstract: Evidence suggests that the psychosocial adjustment of children of refugees may be compromised when a parent has symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We sought to determine whether trajectories of parental PTSD symptoms might relate to child adjustment and whether there is an additive effect when both parents, as opposed to just one, has prominent PTSD symptoms. We report data from the first three years of a prospective study of recent Australian humanitarian migrants: the Building a New Life in Australia study. Parental PTSD symptoms were assessed on three occasions, and latent class growth analysis was used to identify homogenous groups of parents based on their PTSD symptoms. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire was administered to assess child psychosocial adjustment. Regression analyses were then conducted to determine whether trajectories of parental PTSD symptoms predicted child adjustment. After controlling for child age and gender, the presence of either one or both parents with persistently high PTSD symptoms was associated with children's having greater emotional difficulties and poorer overall psychosocial adjustment. Children with both parents with persistently high PTSD had higher levels of emotional difficulties than did children with a single parent with high PTSD symptoms. For emotional difficulties, though not other domains of child psychosocial adjustment, there indeed appears to be an additive impact of having two parents, rather than just one, with persistently high PTSD symptoms, although the magnitude of these effects was small. The clinical and service provision implications of these findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
DOI: 10.1037/ort0000434
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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