Do adolescent offspring of women with PTSD experience higher levels of chronic and episodic stress?

Sarah R. Brand, Julia C. Schechter, Constance L. Hammen, Robyne Le Brocque, Patricia A. Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Offspring of mothers with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at higher risk for a range of negative developmental outcomes, including differing forms of psychopathology. This study suggests that the multigenerational impact of trauma may be partially attributed to increased levels of stress experienced by these offspring during childhood and adolescence. Diagnostic interviews were conducted with over 800 women and their offspring. Experiences of stress were assessed using multiple measures. Results indicate that offspring of mothers with PTSD or high levels of PTSD symptoms experienced higher levels of lifetime exposure to major stress, η2 = .02, current chronic stress due to family relations, η2 = .01, and a higher level of objectively rated recent episodic life stress, η2 = .01, compared to offspring of women without PTSD. These findings remained significant after controlling for maternal history of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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