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Dev Psychopathol. 2019 Feb 1:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S0954579418001487. [Epub ahead of print]

Caregiver-adolescent co-reminiscing and adolescents' individual recollections of a devastating tornado: Associations with enduring posttraumatic stress symptoms.

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Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital,Miami,FL,USA.
University of Kansas,Clinical Child Psychology Program,Lawrence,KS,USA.
University of Alabama,Department of Psychology,Tuscaloosa,AL,USA.


Although disaster-related posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) typically decrease in intensity over time, some youth continue to report elevated levels of PTSS many years after the disaster. The current study examines two processes that may help to explain the link between disaster exposure and enduring PTSS: caregiver emotion socialization and youth recollection qualities. One hundred and twenty-two youth (ages 12 to 17) and their female caregivers who experienced an EF-4 tornado co-reminisced about the event, and adolescents provided independent recollections between 3 and 4 years after the tornado. Adolescent individual transcripts were coded for coherence and negative personal impact, qualities that have been found to contribute to meaning making. Parent-adolescent conversations were coded for caregiver egocentrism, a construct derived from the emotion socialization literature to reflect the extent to which the caregiver centered the conversation on her own emotions and experiences. Egocentrism predicted higher youth PTSS, and this association was mediated by the coherence of adolescents' narratives. The association between coherence and PTSS was stronger for youth who focused more on the negative personal impacts of the tornado event during their recollections. Results suggest that enduring tornado-related PTSS may be influenced in part by the interplay of caregiver emotion socialization practices and youth recollection qualities.


adolescents; emotion socialization; natural disaster; posttraumatic stress; recollection qualities


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