The Brisbane Storms Project: A Naturalistic Study of the Impact of Parenting Factors on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children following a Natural Disaster

Miss Megan Newrick (). The Brisbane Storms Project: A Naturalistic Study of the Impact of Parenting Factors on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children following a Natural Disaster Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Miss Megan Newrick
Thesis Title The Brisbane Storms Project: A Naturalistic Study of the Impact of Parenting Factors on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children following a Natural Disaster
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Dr Vanessa Cobham
Total pages 132
Total colour pages N/A
Total black and white pages N/A
Abstract/Summary Research has suggested that exposure to a natural disaster (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes or floods) in youth is associated with a number of different post traumatic emotional reactions, including symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders (La Greca & Silverman, 2006). Past research has identified the important role which parenting plays in the development of child post traumatic stress disorder (Nickerson, Reeves, Brock & Jimerson, 2009; Terranova, Boxer & Sheffield-Morris, 2009); however, little research has specifically investigated the impact that parenting factors, including parental psychopathology and changes in parenting practices, may have on child post traumatic stress disorder following a natural disaster. Following a severe storm which occurred in The Gap, Brisbane, in November, 2008, a sample of children in Grades 4-7 (N=680) at a number of state and Catholic schools were screened for post traumatic symptomatology using the Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire (CTSQ) as part of a government-based health initiative. Parents were also given a questionnaire to complete. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between parental psychopathology on child post traumatic symptomatology and the relationship between parenting factors and child PTSD. Results from a logistic regression analysis showed that the most significant predictor of children being in the clinical range on the CTSQ was if they reported that they thought they were “going to die” during the storm. A number of other exposure-related predictors were also found to be significant. Results showed that the predictor of changes in parenting since the storm as measured by the parenting measure total score was also significant, indicating that an increase of every one unit in the total score related to children being 1.19 times more likely to be in the clinical range on the CTSQ. This indicates that parents who reported changes in their parenting, including becoming more overprotective or avoidant, were significantly more likely to have children who reported experiencing PTSD symptomatology. The predictor of parental psychopathology (the K6) was not significant, indicating that parents who reported experiencing distress and psychopathology since the storms were not significantly more likely to have children who reported PTSD symptomatology. It is hypothesised that this was likely to be due to the fact that the sample consisted of children aged 8 to 12, and research has suggested that the impact of parental distress and psychopathology following a traumatic event is the most salient in younger children, due to their greater dependence on caregivers (Laor et al., 1996). Limitations of this study and directions for future research are discussed.
Keyword Post traumatic stress disorder
Child
Natural Disaster
Parenting factors

 
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Created: Sat, 31 Jul 2010, 15:42:18 EST by Miss Megan Newrick