246196 Relationship between parenting stress and posttraumatic stress disorder symptomatology in domestic violence survivors

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Melissa Lin, MS , Division of Medical Services, Research and Information Technology, Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation, Brooklyn, NY
Sascha Griffing, PhD , Urban Resource Institute, New York, NY
Abbie Tuller, MA , Urban Resource Institute, New York, NY
Robert Sage, PhD , Division of Human Services, Urban Resource Institute / Addiction Research and Treatment Corp., Brooklyn, NY
Lorraine Madry, DMin , Urban Resource Institute, New York, NY
Few studies have examined the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on parenting. This is an important area for investigation, as the fearfulness and sense of helplessness that characterize PTSD are likely to affect one's ability to promote a sense of safety in one's child. Parenting stress, which arises specifically from the demands of parenting, may mediate the relationship between PTSD and parenting behavior. This study examined the relationship between PTSD symptom clusters and types of parenting stress experienced by women residing in domestic violence shelters. Participants were recruited from three emergency domestic violence facilities and consisted of 112 female residents from diverse ethnicities. All participants came to the shelter with at least one child. Participants completed the Impact of Events Scale, which measured overall levels of PTSD symptoms, as well as, three symptom clusters: avoidance, intrusion, and hyperarousal. In addition, they completed the Parenting Stress Index Short Form, which assessed for overall levels of parenting stress and three subscales: Parental Distress, Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction and Difficult Child. Correlation analysis revealed significant relationships among overall PTSD and Parenting Stress (p<.05), as well as a unique pattern among symptoms clusters and parenting stress. Specifically, hyperarousal and intrusive thoughts were positively associated with parental distress (p<.01; p<.05) and parental perceptions of their child being difficult (p<.05), however avoidance was only significantly associated with Parental Distress (p<.05). These data have important research and clinical implications that underscore the residual impacts domestic violence has on victims and families and suggestions for intervention.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationships among PTSD symptom clusters (avoidance, intrusion, hyperarousal) and types of parenting stress (parental distress, parent-child dysfunctional interaction, difficult child).

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the research that is conducted.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.