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Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 273–289 | Cite as

The Role of Caregiver Psychopathology in the Treatment of Childhood Trauma with Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Systematic Review

  • Christina Gamache MartinEmail author
  • Yoel Everett
  • Elizabeth A. Skowron
  • Maureen Zalewski
Article

Abstract

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is regarded as one of the most effective treatments for children who have experienced trauma and is rapidly being disseminated. To best ensure efficacy, even among treatment refractory symptoms, a better understanding of the factors that lead TF-CBT to be more or less effective for some children is warranted. One major factor that has not been systematically considered is the role of caregiver psychopathology. Therefore, this systematic review of 18 empirical studies examined how TF-CBT has incorporated caregiver psychopathology into the treatment of childhood trauma and how it is related to treatment outcomes. The results of this review provide preliminary support for TF-CBT decreasing caregiver psychopathology, in terms of symptoms of depression, PTSD, and emotional distress related to the child’s experience of trauma, as well as partial support for caregiver depression, rather than caregiver PTSD or distress, influencing child treatment outcomes. It also illuminates the strong need for future TF-CBT studies to routinely measure caregiver psychopathology. Several recommendations are provided to ensure that the emerging research base can inform clinical practice guidelines on how to incorporate caregivers who exhibit psychopathology and potentially develop modifications to the existing treatment to address trauma and symptoms in both members of the caregiver–child dyad, when needed.

Keywords

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy Child trauma Caregiver psychopathology Systematic review 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Carole Swiecicki for providing helpful feedback to an earlier version of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All study authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology1227 University of OregonEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling Psychology & Human Services5251 University of OregonEugeneUSA

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