Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 452–459 | Cite as

Co-Occurring Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Among Young Children

  • Alison Salloum
  • Carly Johnco
  • Kristin M. Smyth
  • Tanya K. Murphy
  • Eric A. Storch
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to examine differences in: (1) mental health emotional and behavioral problems between young children experiencing PTSD with and without MDD; (2) the incidence of caregiver PTSD and MDD between children with PTSD ± MDD; and (3) the number of traumatic events and interpersonal versus non-interpersonal nature of trauma events among children whose parents sought child trauma-focused treatment. Sixty-six caregivers of children aged 3–7 with PTSD completed semi-structured interviews regarding caregiver and child diagnoses, and caregivers completed self-report measures regarding child symptomatology. Results indicated that young children with PTSD + MDD had significantly higher internalizing symptoms, dissociative symptoms, and posttraumatic stress severity than those without comorbid MDD. There were no significant group differences in the incidence of caregiver PTSD or MDD, or the number or types of traumatic events. Future research to understand the unique contributors to the etiology of MDD in the context of PTSD among young children is needed.


Young children Posttraumatic stress disorder Depression Comorbidity 



The study was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health award assigned to Alison Salloum (R34MH092373). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health. We provide a special acknowledgement of gratitude to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, a community-based agency that has been a valuable partner in conducting community-based trauma-focused research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Salloum
    • 1
    • 3
  • Carly Johnco
    • 2
  • Kristin M. Smyth
    • 4
  • Tanya K. Murphy
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Eric A. Storch
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.School of Social Work, College of Behavioral and Community SciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Emotional Health, Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of Social WorkWestern Carolina UniversityCullowheeUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral NeurosciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  6. 6.All Children’s Hospital – Johns Hopkins MedicineSt. PetersburgUSA
  7. 7.Rogers Behavioral HealthTampaUSA
  8. 8.Department of Health Policy and ManagementUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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