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Maternal Post-traumatic Stress and Response to Toddler Distress : What is the Impact on Mutual Emotion Regulation and the Child's Social-Emotional Development?

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Defense Thèse de privat-docent : Univ. Genève, 2010
Abstract Papers and preliminary findings from three different programs of research examining the effects of maternal violent traumatization on the early parent-child relationship and on child social-emotional development, directed by Dr. Schechter and spanning the period 1999 to the present, are reviewed and compiled. These three programs of research involved the following samples: 1) Clinical Sample of Referred Mothers and Toddlers during his NIH Research Fellowship (N=41) and the follow-up of the young children 2 years later (N=25), 2) Pediatrics Community Clinics Sample of Mothers and Toddlers during the NIH Research Career Award (N=104) that included the imaging study (N=20), and finally 3) the current study in Geneva with preliminary results thus far (N=13) have continued to characterize how interpersonal violence-related posttraumatic psychopathology impacts the child-parent relationship during formative development of emotion regulation in the child, with demonstrable repercussions for the child in preschool and early school-age years. Specifically, the overarching hypothesis that links these 3 different research programs tested and supported the hypothesis that mothers who have experienced interpersonal violence and who suffer from related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to have particular difficulties in the regulation of their own emotion and arousal, particularly when faced with helpless states of mind in their young children or themselves. These difficulties, which can be viewed at the level of maternal mental representations and self-reported stress, behavior, physiology, and neural activity are associated with impairment in their parental function of assisting their young children with regulation of their emotion, arousal, and aggression.
Keywords TraumaPTSDParentalitéPédopsychiatriePsychobiologie développementaleViolence
Stable URL http://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:13140
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Research group Geneva Early Childhood and Family Stress Project

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Deposited on : 2011-01-10

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