Family Violence, PTSD, and Parent–Child Interactions: Dyadic Data Analysis with Mexican Families
Department of Family Therapy
Child & Youth Care Forum
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cooper, D. K., Erolin, K. S., Wieling, E., Durtsci, J. A., Aguilar, R. E., Diaspro Huigera, M. O., & Huidobro, D. G. (2020). Family Violence, PTSD, and Parent–Child Interactions: Dyadic Data Analysis with Mexican Families. Child & Youth Care Forum, 49 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-020-09564-3
0000-0002-5278-5773, 0000-0003-1964-7640, 0000-0003-1490-6471