Parenting and temperament prior to September 11, 2001, and parenting specific to 9/11 as predictors of children's posttraumatic stress symptoms following 9/11.
ABSTRACT Parenting is related to children's adjustment, but little research has examined the role of parenting in children's responses to disasters. This study describes parenting responses specific to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and examines pre-9/11 parenting, child temperament, and 9/11-specific parenting as predictors of children's posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms among children geographically distant from the attack locations. A community sample of children and parents (n = 137, ages 9-13 years) participating in an ongoing study were interviewed 1 month following 9/11. Parents reported engaging in a number of parenting responses following 9/11. Pre-9/11 acceptance and 9/11-specific, self-focused parental responses predicted PTS symptoms. Pre-9/11 parenting and temperament interacted to predict PTS symptoms, suggesting that parenting and temperament are important prospective predictors of children's responses to indirect exposure to disasters.