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J Perinat Educ. 2008 Summer;17(3):17-26. doi: 10.1624/105812408X324534.

Prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms after childbirth: does ethnicity have an impact?

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  • 1TANYA PAUL currently practices as a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut.


The purpose of this descriptive, correlational study was to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms in mothers during the first 6 months after giving birth, as well as to investigate whether ethnicity has an impact on the occurrence of such symptoms. Twenty-two women completed the Perinatal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Questionnaire at a community health center. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, correlations, and independent sample t-tests. Higher total Perinatal PTSD Questionnaire scores were related to higher numbers of both perinatal and postpartum complications. In addition, Hispanic women were found to be less likely to experience avoidance than Caucasian women. Although more research is needed, findings from this study demonstrate a preliminary relationship between the two variables, ethnicity and avoidance.


PTSD; birth trauma; childbirth; ethnicity; posttraumatic stress disorder

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