Children are significantly more likely to develop PTSD if the mother is already afflicted

A Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) study indicates that children are more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if their mother is already afflicted.

In the study published in the Journal of Depression & Anxiety, while fewer than 10 percent (8.4 percent) of the were suffering from PTSD, more than a fifth (21 percent) of their presented PTSD symptoms. Children who developed PTSD symptoms also had more psychosomatic complaints such as constipation, diarrhea and headaches.

"This study reinforces the existing body of knowledge regarding the importance of evaluating and treating parental responses in time of stress," the researchers explain.

"Parents are often the key to understanding children's responses generally and specifically in times of stress. The study also highlights the close interrelations between 'body and soul' among children and adults."

In the study, some 160 mothers of preschool children were interviewed about symptoms exhibited by their children and their own responses during Operation Cast Lead. More than 750 rockets were fired into Southern Israel from Gaza from December 2008 to January 2009.

Working with the Preschool Psychiatric Unit at Soroka University Medical Center, the BGU researchers examined the relationship between PTSD symptoms and socio-demographic, family attributes and psychosomatic symptoms among children exposed to Grad missile attacks in Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Professors Danit Shahar and Drora Fraser in the University's Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation led the study. Other researchers included Dr. Ilan Harpaz-Rotem and Dr. Robert Pietrzak from Yale University and Dr. Nomi Werbeloff from the Department of Psychiatry, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat-Gan.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

PTSD raises risk for obesity in women

Nov 20, 2013

Women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) gain weight more rapidly and are more likely to be overweight or obese than women without the disorder, find researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health ...

Early screening tool IDs PTSD in preschool-aged children

Sep 24, 2013

(HealthDay)—An early screening tool can be used to identify posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in infants and young children shortly after unintentional injury, according to a study published online Sept. ...

PTSD after traumatic events: Which teens are at risk?

Jul 29, 2013

While most children cannot be shielded from emotionally traumatic events, clinicians can target those who are most vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a large study from Boston Children's ...

Recommended for you

A blood test for suicide?

1 hour ago

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a ...

Could summer camp be the key to world peace?

17 hours ago

According to findings from a new study by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Jane Risen, and Chicago Booth doctoral student Juliana Schroeder, it may at least be a start.

Gender disparities in cognition will not diminish

Jul 28, 2014

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, investigated the extent to which improvements in living conditions and educational opportunities over a person's life affect cognitive abilities and th ...

Facial features are the key to first impressions

Jul 28, 2014

A new study by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of York shows that it is possible to accurately predict first impressions using measurements of physical features in everyday images of faces, such ...

User comments