Parent Peri-Trauma Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Appraisals, and Coaching of Avoidant Coping: A Multi-Method Approach

Tiffany Kichline, Nancy Kassam-Adams, Danielle Weiss, Janette E. Herbers, Meghan L. Marsac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Parent’s cognitions and behaviors may play an important role in children’s psychological adjustment after a potentially traumatizing event. Few studies have examined specific parent factors and processes that may play a role in the development of child PTSS after a pediatric injury. The present study investigated the relationships among parent posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), appraisals, and parent coaching of avoidant coping in the peri-trauma period following pediatric injury. Participants included 96 children aged 8–13 years old, who were hospitalized for an injury and one parent per child. Parents’ appraisals and parent coaching of avoidant coping were measured via self-report measures and a new observational assessment (Trauma Ambiguous Situations Task; TAST). Regression analyses were used to examine the influence of parent PTSS and parent appraisals on parent coaching of avoidant coping. Results indicated that parent PTSS was associated with greater (self-reported) promotion of avoidant coping, but not with the likelihood of promoting avoidant coping during the TAST. Self-reported parent threat appraisals did not significantly predict coaching of avoidant coping. Variation in findings across assessment methods suggests the importance of a multi-method approach. Findings suggest that early post-trauma interventions that target parent-child interactions may want to include a focus on parent PTSS and coping assistance strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2879-2888
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Avoidance
  • Coping behavior
  • Parent child relations
  • Parents
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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