Co-Occurring Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Among Young Children
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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.
KeywordsYoung 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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