Article

Toward Assessing Traumatic Events and Stress Symptoms in Preschool Children From Low-Income Families

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA.
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.5). 05/2008; 78(2):220-8. DOI: 10.1037/a0013977
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Traumatic events can seriously disrupt the development of preschool children. Yet few studies capture developmentally specific examples of traumas and the expression of distress for this age group. Mothers and teachers of 138 preschoolers from low-income families were interviewed about traumatic events and completed a new measure assessing their child's traumatic stress symptoms. They reported traumatic events as the death of a person, death of a pet, family violence, high conflict divorce, sudden family loss, accident or injury, and viewing the World Trade Center attack. Factor analysis of 17 trauma symptoms revealed three internally consistent and valid scales: Intrusions, Emotional Reactivity, and Fears, plus a Total omnibus score. Traumatic stress symptoms varied by the type of event. Scores were higher for traumatic events involving close family members than for distal events.

0 Followers
 · 
85 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Focusing specifically on the experiences of economically disadvantaged preschoolers, the relations between interpersonal violence exposure, behavior problems, and social skills were examined in both the home and school settings. In this racially and ethnically diverse sample of preschoolers from poor, urban households (N = 64; 3-6 years old; 56% female), many children (33%) had been exposed to at least 1 type of interpersonal violence, and even more (70%) had been exposed to any type of potentially traumatic event (PTE). Although exposure to interpersonal violence was not directly associated with parent- or teacher-reported behavior problems or social skills, a significant interaction effect was observed between exposure to interpersonal violence and teacher-reported internalizing problems in predicting teacher-reported social skills; specifically, for children with the highest levels of internalizing problems, a positive relation between interpersonal violence exposure and social skills was observed. This indirect effect was observed only in the school setting, whereas children in this high-risk sample appeared to demonstrate resilience in the home setting. Given these high rates of exposure, additional, clinically relevant research is needed to inform interventions for this vulnerable population.
    The Journal of Genetic Psychology 05/2014; 175(3):214-232. DOI:10.1080/00221325.2013.856839 · 0.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Violence perpetrated by young women typically occurs in close relationships. This study assessed the impact of exposure to interparental violence (IPV) on girls' perpetration of violence within romantic relationships and examined whether this relationship was mediated through sensitivity to interpersonal rejection (RS). Exposure to maternal IPV predicted girls' romantic partner aggression in adolescence and 5 years later in young adulthood. Additionally, girls high on RS were at increased risk of aggression in romantic relationships in adolescence and young adulthood. RS mediated the relationship between IPV and levels of romantic partner aggression in adolescence, but not into young adulthood. These effects remained stable even when paternal IPV and other forms of parental abuse were controlled.
    Journal of Research on Adolescence 02/2014; 24(1):80-92. DOI:10.1111/jora.12065 · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Evidence from both clinical reports and empirical research suggests that symbolic play may help heal children’s traumas. Playfulness, an enduring individual characteristic, also contributes to resilience. However, trauma often sabotages children’s ability to engage in imaginary play and parents’ ability to be involved in playful interactions with their young children. This paper describes an innovative preventive group-intervention program by the name of NAMAL (Hebrew acronym for Let’s Make Room for Play), designed for mothers and their toddlers who live under the chronic stress of recurrent missile attacks in Israel. The major objective of the program is to bolster children’s resilience by enhancing their playful interactions with their mothers. The theme and activities of each session are organized around a saying with a relational or developmental message. Reports collected from 70 mothers after their participation in the program highlighted the success of the intervention and the changes in the children and parents, as well as in their interactions with each other. Follow-up interviews conducted a year after the intervention provided further information on the long-term positive effects of the program.
    Clinical Social Work Journal 12/2013; 42(4). DOI:10.1007/s10615-013-0439-0 · 0.27 Impact Factor