Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 32, Issue 7, pp 657–667 | Cite as

PTSD Symptom Trajectories among Mothers Reporting Interpersonal Trauma: Protective Factors and Parenting Outcomes

  • Katherine L. Guyon-HarrisEmail author
  • Sarah Ahlfs-Dunn
  • Alissa Huth-Bocks
Original Article


The childbearing years are further complicated when experiences of interpersonal trauma from childhood and/or adulthood lead to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Maternal symptoms of PTSD over time were examined in relation to supportive adult relationships and parenting experiences. Ninety-five primarily economically disadvantaged mothers reporting exposure to childhood maltreatment and/or intimate partner violence were assessed from pregnancy through 2-years postpartum. Latent class growth analysis of PTSD symptoms indicated a 2-group model: stable low (82%) and moderate dysfunction (18%). The stable low group reported higher levels of support from romantic partners and family members, but not friends, and lower levels of parenting distress compared to the moderate dysfunction group. Results highlight individual variability in adaptation after violence exposure; current support from romantic partners and family members may have helped maintain lower PTSD symptoms for some trauma-exposed mothers. Psychological interventions aimed at reducing the impact of trauma exposure on parenting should consider promoting ongoing social support.


PTSD Parenting Interpersonal trauma Person-centered analyses 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine L. Guyon-Harris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Ahlfs-Dunn
    • 1
  • Alissa Huth-Bocks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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