The relationships between maladaptive coping strategies and long-term posttraumatic stress symptoms after pediatric burns in mother and child
Bavel, J.E. van
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Objective: This study examined the intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships between mother and child maladaptive coping strategies rumination, catastrophizing and self-blame and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) 3 and 12 months after pediatric burn injuries. Method: A total sample of n=71 with dyads of mothers and children older than eleven participated in the study. Within the first month after the burn event (T1) the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire was completed by mother and child to measure coping strategies. Moreover, at T1, at 3 months (T2) and 12 months (T3) postburn the Impact of Event Scale was completed by mothers and the Children’s Responses to Trauma Inventory was completed by children to measure PTSS. Correlation analyses and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to obtain data. Results: An interrelation was found between mother and child rumination. Moreover, catastrophizing and rumination were found to be significant predictors for PTSS within-person and between-person. However, this last effect was not found in all examined sub questions at all time points. Moreover, the maladaptive coping strategies together had significant predictive value of PTSS T2 and T3 in children. Conclusions: The results indicate that some maladaptive coping strategies predict PTSS 3 and 12 months after pediatric burns in mother and child individually and interpersonally. However, not all expected effects were consistently found and some effects were contradicting. Still, findings indicate that clinical interventions after pediatric burns should aim at avoiding maladaptive coping strategies and that processes of coping and development of PTSS should be considered as interrelated between family members.