Advertisement

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

PTSD Parenting Interpersonal trauma Person-centered analyses 

References

  1. Abidin, R. R. (1995). Parenting stress index: Professional manual (3rd edn.). Odessa: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  2. Anders, S. L., Shallcross, S. L., & Frazier, P. A. (2012). Beyond criterion A1: the effects of relational and non-relational traumatic events. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 13(2), 134–151. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2012.642744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, K. M., & Bang, E. (2012). Assessing PTSD and resilience for females who during childhood were exposed to domestic violence. Child & Family Social Work, 17(1), 55–65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2011.00772.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Armour, C., Shevlin, M., Elklit, A., & Mroczek, D. (2012). A latent growth mixture modeling approach to PTSD symptoms in rape victims. Traumatology, 18(1), 20–28. doi: 10.1177/1534765610395627.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Aspelmeier, J. E., Elliott, A. N., & Smith, C. H. (2007). Childhood sexual abuse, attachment, and trauma symptoms in college females: the moderating role of attachment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(5), 549–566. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.12.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Belsky, J., Jaffee, S. R., Sligo, J., Woodward, L., & Silva, P. A. (2005). Intergenerational transmission of warm-sensitive-stimulating parenting: a prospective study of mothers and fathers of 3-year-olds. Child Development, 76(2), 384–396. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00852.x.
  7. Bergman, L. R., & Magnusson, D. (1997). A person-oriented approach in research on developmental psychopathology. Developmental Psychopathology, 9, 291–319. doi:  10.1017/S095457949700206X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernstein, D. P., & Fink, L. (1998). Childhood trauma questionnaire: A retrospective self-report: Manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  9. Bert, S. C., Guner, B. M., & Lanzi, R. G. (2009). The influence of maternal history of abuse on parenting knowledge and behavior. Family Relations, 58, 176–187. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2008.00545.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Blanchard, E. B., Jones-Alexander, J., Buckley, T. C., & Forneris, C. A. (1996). Psychometric properties of the PTSD checklist (PCL). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34, 669–673. doi: 10.1016/0005-7967(96)00033-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Bonanno, G. A., & Mancini, A. D. (2012). Beyond resilience and PTSD: mapping the heterogeneity of responses to potential trauma. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 4(1), 74–83. doi: 10.1037/a0017829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bosch, L. A., & Curran, M. A. (2011). Identity style and relationship quality for pregnant cohabitating couples during the transition to parenthood. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 11(1), 47–63. doi: 10.1080/15283488.2010.540738.
  13. Braiker, H. B., & Kelley, H. H. (1979). Conflict in the development of close relationships. In R. Burgess & T. Huston (Eds.), Social exchange and developing relationships (pp. 135–168). New York: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Busuito, A., Huth-Bocks, A., & Puro, E. (2014). Romantic attachment as a moderator of the association between childhood abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Journal of Family Violence, 29, 567–577. doi: 10.1007/s10896-014-9611-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Charuvastra, A., & Cloitre, M. (2008). Social bonds and posttraumatic stress disorder. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 301–328. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085650.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Chemtob, C. M., & Carlson, J. G. (2004). Psychological effects of domestic violence on children and their mothers. International Journal of Stress Management, 11, 209–226. doi: 10.1037/1072-5245.11.3.209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cloitre, M., Miranda, R., Stovall-McClough, K. C., & Han, H. (2005). Beyond PTSD: emotion regulation and interpersonal problems as predictors of functional impairment in survivors of childhood abuse. Behavior Therapy, 36, 119–124. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7894(05)80060-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crnic, K. A., & Greenberg, M. A. (1990). Minor parenting stresses with young children. Child Development, 61, 1628–1637. doi: 10.2307/1130770.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Davies, J., Slade, P., Wright, I., & Stewart, P. (2008). Posttraumatic stress symptoms following childbirth and mothers’ perceptions of their infants. Infant Mental Health Journal, 29, 537–554. doi: 10.1002/imhj.20197.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Forbes, D., Fletcher, S., Parslow, R., Phelps, A., O’Donnell, M., Bryant, R. A., McFarlane, A., Silove, D., & Creamer, M. (2012). Trauma at the hands of another: longitudinal study of differences in the posttraumatic stress disorder symptom profile following interpersonal compared with noninterpersonal trauma. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 73, 372–376. doi: 10.4088/JCP.10m06640.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Haskett, M. E., Ahern, L. S., Ward, C. S., & Allaire, J. C. (2006). Factor structure and validity of the parenting stress index–short form. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 35, 302–312. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3502_14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Huth-Bocks, A. C., Levendosky, A. A., Bogat, G. A., & von Eye, A. (2004). The impact of maternal characteristics and contextual variables on infant-mother attachment. Child Development, 75, 480–496. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00688.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Huth-Bocks, A. C., Krause, K., Ahlfs-Dunn, S., Gallagher, E., & Scott, S. (2013). Relational trauma and posttraumatic stress symptoms among pregnant women. Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 41, 277–302. doi: 10.1521/pdps.2013.41.2.277.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Iverson, K. M., Dick, A., McLaughlin, K. A., Smith, B. N., Bell, M. E., Gerber, M. R., Dick, A., Smith, B. N., Bell, M. E., Cook, N., & Mitchell, K. S. (2013). Exposure to interpersonal violence and its associations with psychiatric morbidity in a U.S. national sample: a gender comparison. Psychology of Violence, 3(3), 273–287. doi: 10.1037/a0030956.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Jonzon, E., & Lindblad, F. (2005). Adult female victims of child sexual abuse: multitype maltreatment and disclosure characteristics related to subjective health. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(6), 651–666. doi: 10.1177/0886260504272427.
  26. Jung, T., & Wickrama, K. A. S. (2008). An Introduction to latent class growth analysis and growth mixture modeling. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(1), 302–317. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00054.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kelleher, K. J., Hazen, A. L., Coben, J. H., Wang, Y., McGeehan, J., Kohl, P. L., & Gardner, W. P. (2008). Self-reported disciplinary practices among women in the child welfare system: association with domestic violence victimization. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 811–818. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.12.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., & Merikangas, K. R. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 593–602. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.62.6.593.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Letourneau, N., Morris, C. Y., Secco, L., Stewart, M., Hughes, J., & Critchley, K. (2013). Mothers and infants exposed to intimate partner violence compensate. Violence and Victims, 28(4), 571–586. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-12-00077.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Levendosky, A. A., & Graham-Bermann, S. A. (2001). Parenting in battered women: the effects of domestic violence on women and their children. Journal Of Family Violence, 16(2), 171–192. doi: 10.1023/A:1011111003373.
  31. Levendosky, A. A., Leahy, K. L., Bogat, G. A., Davidson, W. S., & von Eye, A. (2006). Domestic violence, maternal parenting, maternal mental health, and infant externalizing behavior. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 544–552. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.4.544.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Lyons-Ruth, K., & Block, D. (1996). The disturbed caregiving system: relations among childhood trauma, maternal caregiving, and infant affect and attachment. Infant Mental Health Journal, 17, 257–275. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0355(199623)17:3<257::AID-IMHJ5>3.0.CO;2-L.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Masten, A. S. (2011). Resilience in children threatened by extreme adversity: frameworks for research, practice, and translational synergy. Development & Psychopathology, 23, 493–506. doi: 10.1017/S0954579411000198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Muthén, B., & Muthén, L. K. (2000). Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analyses: growth mixture modeling with latent trajectory classes. Alcoholism: Clinical And Experimental Research, 24(6), 882–891. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2000.tb02070.x.
  35. Muzik, M., Bockneck, E. L., Broderick, A., Richardson, P., Rosenblum, K. L., Thelen, K., & Seng, J. S. (2013). Mother–infant bonding impairment across the first 6 months postpartum: the primacy of psychopathology in women with childhood abuse and neglect histories. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 16, 29–38. doi: 10.1007/s00737-012-0312-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Onoye, J. M., Goebert, D., Morland, L., Matsu, C., & Wright, T. (2009). PTSD and postpartum mental health of Caucasian, Asian, and Pacific Islander women. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 12, 393–400. doi: 10.1007/s00737-009-0087-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Pereira, J., Vickers, K., Atkinson, L., Gonzalez, A., Wekerle, C., & Levitan, R. (2012). Parenting mediates between maternal maltreatment history and maternal sensitivity in a community sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36, 433–437. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.01.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Procidano, M., & Heller, K. (1983). Measures of perceived social support from friends and from family: three validation studies. American Journal of Community Psychology, 11, 1–24. doi: 10.1007/BF00898416.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Reitman, D., Currier, R. O., & Stickle, T. R. (2002). A critical evaluation of the parenting stress index–short form (PSI-SF) in a head start population. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 31, 384–392. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3103_10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Resnick, H. S., Kilpatrick, D. G., Dansky, B. S., Saunders, B. E., & Best, C. L. (1993). Prevalence of civilian trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in a representative national sample of women. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 984–991. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.61.6.984.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Salloum, A., Stover, C. S., Swaidan, V. R., & Storch, E. A. (2014). Parent and child PTSD and parent depression in relation to parenting stress among trauma-exposed children. Journal of Child and Family Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10826-014-9928-1.Google Scholar
  42. Schechter, D. S., Coates, S. W., Kaminer, T., Coots, T., Zeanah, J. C., Daives, M., Schonfeld, I. S., Marshall, R. D., Liebowitz, M. R., Trabka, K. A., McCaw, J. E., & Myers, M. M. (2008). Distorted maternal mental representations and atypical behaviors in a clinical sample of violence-exposed mothers and their toddlers. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 9, 123–147. doi: 10.1080/15299730802045666.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Schumm, J. A., Briggs-Phillips, M., & Hobfoll, S. E. (2006). Cumulative interpersonal traumas and social support as risk and resiliency factors in predicting PTSD and depression among inner-city women. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 19(6), 825–836. doi: 10.1002/jts.20159.
  44. Seng, J. S., D’Andrea, W., & Ford, J. D. (2014). Complex mental health sequelae of psychological trauma among women in prenatal care. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6, 41–49. doi: 10.1037/a0031467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Seng, J. S., Sperlich, M., Low, L. K., Ronis, D. L., Muzik, M., & Liberzon, I. (2013). Childhood abuse history, posttraumatic stress disorder, postpartum mental health, and bonding: a prospective cohort study. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 58(1), 57–68. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2012.00237.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Steenkamp, M. M., Dickstein, B. D., Salters-Pedneault, K., Hofmann, S. G., & Litz, B. T. (2012). Trajectories of PTSD symptoms following sexual assault: is resilience the modal outcome? Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(4), 469–474. doi: 10.1002/jts.21718.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., & Warren, W. L. (2003). The conflict tactics scales handbook. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  48. Wang, M., & Bodner, T. E. (2007). Growth mixture modeling: identifying and predicting unobserved subpopulations with longitudinal data. Organizational Research Methods, 10, 635–656. doi: 10.1177/1094428106289397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Weathers, F. W., Litz, B. T., Herman, D. S., Huska, J. A., & Keane, T. M. (1993). The PTSD checklist (PCL): Reliability, validity, and diagnostic utility. Paper presented at the 9th Annual Conference of the ISTSS, San Antonio.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations