CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Family Violence, PTSD, and Parent–Child Interactions: Dyadic Data Analysis with Mexican Families

Department

Department of Family Therapy

Publication Date

7-22-2020

Publication Title

Child & Youth Care Forum

ISSN

1053-1890

Volume

49

Abstract

Background

Family violence has been shown to have a dramatic impact on individual and family life in the United States and other countries. Numerous studies have assessed the influence that exposure to violence can have on family dynamics and parent–child relationships. However, less is known about the association between family violence and parent–child relationships with Mexican families.

Objective

Guided by social interaction learning theory, the purpose of this study was to explore the link between family violence, PTSD, and mother–child interaction patterns.

Methods

Eighty-seven mother–child dyads from Mexico completed assessments for exposure to family violence and PTSD symptoms. We coded and analyzed observational tasks to assess prosocial parent–child interactions, such as positive communication and problem solving. We conducted an actor-partner independence model (APIM) to examine the association between exposure to family violence, PTSD and mother–child relationship dynamics.

Results

As expected, higher exposure to family violence was linked to higher PTSD symptoms for mothers. Unexpectedly, higher maternal PTSD symptoms were associated with better communication during dyadic interaction tasks with their children.

Conclusions

The present study suggests that individuals from certain cultures (i.e., Mexico) may respond differently to experiencing family violence. The use of multiple measurement methods to assess the relational effects of trauma on family dynamics can advance the scientific understanding of trauma affected families.

ORCID ID

0000-0002-5278-5773, 0000-0003-1964-7640, 0000-0003-1490-6471

DOI

10.1007/s10566-020-09564-3

Peer Reviewed

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