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OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

Parenting Behaviors and PTSD Symptoms Predict Child Psychosocial Problems and Parenting Satisfaction in a Sample of U.S. Veterans and Service Members

June, 2017
Article:

This article examines whether it is PTSD symptoms, parenting behaviors, or both that best explain two components of parent-child functioning: parenting satisfaction and parent-reported child psychosocial problems. Results indicated that parenting behaviors uniquely and significantly explained variance in parenting satisfaction and child psychosocial problems above and beyond the contributions of PTSD symptoms and demographics.  Offering resources to improve positive parenting and address the influence of PTSD on parent-child functioning throughout several levels of the veterans’ health spectrum of care may be advantageous.

Abstract

With the relatively recent emphasis on providing family-centered care at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), there is growing interest in understanding how mental health disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may impact and be impacted by parent-child functioning in veteran families. However, basic and intervention research on the impact of PTSD and parenting behaviors on parent-child functioning among recent veterans is lacking. Utilizing the responses of 111 veterans with children ages 3–18 to a Web-based survey, the current study used hierarchical linear regression to examine whether it is PTSD symptoms, parenting behaviors, or both that best explain two components of parent-child functioning: parenting satisfaction and parent-reported child psychosocial problems. Results indicated that parenting behaviors uniquely and significantly explained variance in parenting satisfaction and child psychosocial problems above and beyond the contributions of PTSD symptoms and demographics. PTSD symptoms explained greater variance in child psychosocial problems and less variance in parenting satisfaction relative to positive parenting behaviors. In light of interest in scaling up parenting resources for veterans, results indicate that offering resources to improve positive parenting and address the influence of PTSD on parent-child functioning throughout several levels of the VHA spectrum of care may be advantageous.

Full Reference

Creech, S.K., Trotman, A., Michaelson, G., Benzer, J.K., Copeland, L.A., 2017. Parenting Behaviors and PTSD Symptoms Predict Child Psychosocial Problems and Parenting Satisfaction in a Sample of U.S. Veterans and Service Members. Military Behavioral Health. 5(4), pp.374-383.

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