Parental Responses to Child Trauma: the Role of Trauma Specific Behaviours and Parenting Style in Facilitating Child Psychological Adjustment

Project: Research council

Project Details


Children exposed to trauma are at risk of adverse psychological outcomes, most significantly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other problems with anxiety. The social context, and particularly how parents respond, is likely to be of importance to child psychological adjustment, as parents and families are often the main source of support for children following a traumatic experience. The main objective of the current project is to identify parental factors that influence child psychological responses to trauma, particularly the development of PTSD symptomatology. To this end, a longitudinal investigation of parental responses to child trauma will be completed. Comprehensive assessments of parents and their 7-12 year old children will be obtained over a six month period following child exposure to trauma. Both general parental behaviours relevant to child anxiety and trauma specific responses based on models of PTSD will be examined. Parental behaviours post-trauma that predict good versus poor outcomes in children at six month follow up will be identified. The project will inform the development of guidance for parents in supporting their child following trauma, and may identify aspects of parental responding that are potential treatment targets in interventions for child PTSD.
Effective start/end date6/02/145/05/17

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath (lead)
  • University of Reading
  • University College London
  • Medical Research Council


  • Economic and Social Research Council

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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