Stability and Change in Posttraumatic Distress: A 7-Year Follow-Up Study of Mothers and Young Children Exposed to Cumulative Trauma

Ruth Pat-Horenczyk*, Sarale Cohen, Yuval Ziv, M. Achituv, Sophie Brickman, Tamar Blanchard, Danny Brom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In situations of cumulative trauma, it is often unclear why some people remain resilient, whereas others experience distress, and how likely these responses are to change over time. To investigate the constancy of responses to cumulative trauma, stability and change in posttraumatic distress and resistance (as defined by no evidence of clinical symptoms) were assessed twice in 140 Israeli children and mothers exposed to continual rocket attacks over approximately 7 years, when the children were 2–4 (Time 1) and 9–11 years of age (Time 2). Measures included trauma exposure, posttraumatic and depressive symptoms, and child behavioral problems. We identified 4 longitudinal courses (LCs): resilient (resistance at Time 1 and Time 2), recovered (clinical distress at Time 1 and resistance at Time 2), developed symptoms (resistance at Time 1 and clinical distress at Time 2), and chronic distress (clinical distress at Time 1 and Time 2). Results showed more stability than change in the frequencies of resistance at both times of measurement. The resilient LC was the most common longitudinal course for both mothers and children. Multinomial regression models indicated that maternal posttraumatic symptoms predicted the recovered and chronic distress LCs of the children.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

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