Mothers and Toddlers Exposed to Political Violence: Severity of Exposure, Emotional Availability, Parenting Stress, and Toddlers’ Behavior Problems

Esther Cohen*, Cory Shulman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the potential risks of maternal and child exposure to traumatic events resulting from political violence, specifically those related to emotional availability, parenting stress and children’s behavioral problems. It also evaluated the feasibility of mitigating these effects through a play-based group intervention for conjoint dyads of mothers and toddlers. Results from 54 dyads show that the higher maternal and especially child exposure to political violence and other trauma, the lower their emotional availability in dyadic interactions (r =.40, p <.01). Emotional availability was associated with the mother’s parenting stress, and both parenting stress and emotional availability were associated with the mother’s perceptions of her child’s behavior problems. Comparisons of observed emotional availability, child behavior problems as perceived by the mother, and reported stress in 28 dyads before and after participating in the intervention suggest that it may be possible to bolster emotional availability and to reduce child’s behavior problems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.

Keywords

  • Mother–child interaction
  • Political violence
  • Preventive intervention
  • Toddlers
  • Trauma exposure

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