BACKGOUND: Several studies have shown that parental mental health may have an impact on pediatric PTSD, with a few research focusing on families exposed to disasters. According to recent contributions, the severity of PTSD in children and adolescents can be affected by caregiver psychopathological symptoms and disorders (e.g., PTSD and Depression), This crosssectional study aimed at identifying main predictors of PTSD and other emotional/behavioral difficulties among youths two years after the earthquake that hit Northern Italy in 2012. The focus is on the association between parental and youth psychopathology, and on the role of parental symptoms/disorders in predicting PTSD and specific symptom clusters in offspring. METHODS: 682 children and adolescents (9-14 years) living in two districts (earthquake zone vs control zone) were administered an exposure questionnaire, the UCLA PTSD-Index for DSM-IV, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and 1162 parents were assessed through the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90). The assessment was made two years after the earthquake. RESULTS: Parents in the earthquake area (EA) referred a high frequency of psychopathological difficulties. 28% had a global score at the SCL-90-R over the cutoff, showing a level of psychopathology and mental distress significantly higher than parents living in the control area (CA) (17.5%; p < 0.001). Parents in the EA had significantly higher scores than subjects living in the CA for most subscales: sleep disturbances was the subscale with the maximum prevalence, followed by obsessivecompulsive disorders, depression, somatization, and anxiety. Compared to fathers, mothers had significantly higher scores, especially in the EA sample. The relationship between caregiver psychopathological symptoms and children/adolescents PTSD was examined, with correlation analysis including all the domains of SCL- 90 and the three symptom clusters of students PTSD. Statistically significant correlations were found for both total scores and all symptoms domains of the SCL90 and PTSD clusters, especially for hyperarousal and reexperiencing. In particular, greater parental symptomatology in the domains of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder resulted to be specifically associated with hyperarousal symptoms in children. Pearson’s correlations showed moderate positive correlations between parents and children’ symptomatology, with particular reference to Total Difficulties Score and Hyperactivity/Disattention and behavioural difficulties scores. T-test analysis revealed higher SDQ scores in all the subscales and in the Total Difficulties Score for children of parents with higher SCL-90 R scores. Regression analysis showed that parental psychopathology was one of the most powerful predictor for both children total PTSD score (β = 0.147, p < 0.001) and the SDQ total difficulties score (β = 0.137, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Despite some limitations, this study revealed a significant association between parental mental health and both PTSD and emotional/behavioural problems among offspring after earthquakes. These results should be carefully considered in mental health support interventions in the areas affected by earthquakes.

ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PARENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PTSD AND OTHER EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL DIFFICULTIES IN CHILDREN AFTER THE 2012 EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY / Forresi, B.; Soncini, F.; Botosso, E.; Di Pietro, E.; Scarpini, G.; Scaini, S.; Aggazzotti, G.; Caffo, E.; Righi, E.. - In: JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY. - ISSN 2499-6904. - 26:1 supp 1(2020), pp. 68-68. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Trauma reti culture - XXIV Congresso Nazionale della Società di Psicopatologia tenutosi a Roma nel 19-22 febbraio 2020.

ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PARENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PTSD AND OTHER EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL DIFFICULTIES IN CHILDREN AFTER THE 2012 EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY.

G. Aggazzotti;E. Caffo;E. Righi
2020

Abstract

BACKGOUND: Several studies have shown that parental mental health may have an impact on pediatric PTSD, with a few research focusing on families exposed to disasters. According to recent contributions, the severity of PTSD in children and adolescents can be affected by caregiver psychopathological symptoms and disorders (e.g., PTSD and Depression), This crosssectional study aimed at identifying main predictors of PTSD and other emotional/behavioral difficulties among youths two years after the earthquake that hit Northern Italy in 2012. The focus is on the association between parental and youth psychopathology, and on the role of parental symptoms/disorders in predicting PTSD and specific symptom clusters in offspring. METHODS: 682 children and adolescents (9-14 years) living in two districts (earthquake zone vs control zone) were administered an exposure questionnaire, the UCLA PTSD-Index for DSM-IV, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and 1162 parents were assessed through the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90). The assessment was made two years after the earthquake. RESULTS: Parents in the earthquake area (EA) referred a high frequency of psychopathological difficulties. 28% had a global score at the SCL-90-R over the cutoff, showing a level of psychopathology and mental distress significantly higher than parents living in the control area (CA) (17.5%; p < 0.001). Parents in the EA had significantly higher scores than subjects living in the CA for most subscales: sleep disturbances was the subscale with the maximum prevalence, followed by obsessivecompulsive disorders, depression, somatization, and anxiety. Compared to fathers, mothers had significantly higher scores, especially in the EA sample. The relationship between caregiver psychopathological symptoms and children/adolescents PTSD was examined, with correlation analysis including all the domains of SCL- 90 and the three symptom clusters of students PTSD. Statistically significant correlations were found for both total scores and all symptoms domains of the SCL90 and PTSD clusters, especially for hyperarousal and reexperiencing. In particular, greater parental symptomatology in the domains of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder resulted to be specifically associated with hyperarousal symptoms in children. Pearson’s correlations showed moderate positive correlations between parents and children’ symptomatology, with particular reference to Total Difficulties Score and Hyperactivity/Disattention and behavioural difficulties scores. T-test analysis revealed higher SDQ scores in all the subscales and in the Total Difficulties Score for children of parents with higher SCL-90 R scores. Regression analysis showed that parental psychopathology was one of the most powerful predictor for both children total PTSD score (β = 0.147, p < 0.001) and the SDQ total difficulties score (β = 0.137, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Despite some limitations, this study revealed a significant association between parental mental health and both PTSD and emotional/behavioural problems among offspring after earthquakes. These results should be carefully considered in mental health support interventions in the areas affected by earthquakes.
26
68
68
Forresi, B.; Soncini, F.; Botosso, E.; Di Pietro, E.; Scarpini, G.; Scaini, S.; Aggazzotti, G.; Caffo, E.; Righi, E.
ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PARENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PTSD AND OTHER EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL DIFFICULTIES IN CHILDREN AFTER THE 2012 EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY / Forresi, B.; Soncini, F.; Botosso, E.; Di Pietro, E.; Scarpini, G.; Scaini, S.; Aggazzotti, G.; Caffo, E.; Righi, E.. - In: JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY. - ISSN 2499-6904. - 26:1 supp 1(2020), pp. 68-68. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Trauma reti culture - XXIV Congresso Nazionale della Società di Psicopatologia tenutosi a Roma nel 19-22 febbraio 2020.
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