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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014 May;23(5):295-306. doi: 10.1007/s00787-013-0462-2. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Self-reported emotional and behavioral symptoms, parent-adolescent bonding and family functioning in clinically referred adolescent offspring of Croatian PTSD war veterans.

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  • 1Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Youth, Zagreb, Croatia, vlatka.boricevic@zg.t-com.hr.

Abstract

The presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in male war veterans has been linked with family dysfunction and psychopathology in their children [1, 2]. This study aimed to evaluate self-reported emotional and behavioral symptoms, parent-adolescent bonding and family functioning in clinically referred adolescent offspring of Croatian PTSD war veterans and determine the degree that parent-child bonding and family functioning contributed to adolescent behavior problems. Internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, parent-child bonding and family functioning were assessed in a sample of clinically referred Croatian PTSD veterans adolescent offspring (N = 122) and non-PTSD veteran adolescent offspring (N = 122) matched for age, sex, educational level, family income, parental employment status, ethnicity, and residential area. Youth Self-Report, Parental Bonding Instrument, Family Assessment Device were used. Adolescent offspring of PTSD veterans reported having significantly more internalizing and externalizing problems than non-PTSD veteran offspring, and also more difficulties in their family functioning, lower levels of maternal and paternal care, and more impaired mother-child and father-child bonding than control subjects. Internalizing symptoms were associated with family dysfunction, while externalizing symptoms were associated with paternal overcontrol/overprotection, and low maternal and paternal care. In conclusion, the increase in internalizing and externalizing symptoms as well as family and parental dysfunction among clinically referred adolescent offspring of PTSD veterans compared to their non-PTSD veteran counterparts indicates a need for early detection and interventions targeting both adolescent psychopathology and family relationships.

PMID:
23949102
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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