We conducted a field study to test whether parents' negative reactions to a natural disaster affected children's reactions, together with the factors buffering this negative influence. Specifically, we examined whether parents' posttraumatic stress symptoms following an earthquake were associated with children's posttraumatic symptoms and their use of negative coping strategies. Theory of mind (ToM) was tested as the factor allowing children to reduce the detrimental effects of posttraumatic stress symptoms on negative coping. Hypotheses were tested in a sample of elementary school children and their parents in the aftermath of the earthquakes that struck Northern Italy in 2012. Results revealed that mothers' (but not fathers') posttraumatic stress symptoms were positively associated with children's posttraumatic stress symptoms, which acted as mediator on the use of negative coping strategies by children, but only among children with low ToM abilities. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of findings.

Preventing the detrimental effect of posttraumatic stress in young children: The role of theory of mind in the aftermath of a natural disaster

Trifiletti, Elena
2016-01-01

Abstract

We conducted a field study to test whether parents' negative reactions to a natural disaster affected children's reactions, together with the factors buffering this negative influence. Specifically, we examined whether parents' posttraumatic stress symptoms following an earthquake were associated with children's posttraumatic symptoms and their use of negative coping strategies. Theory of mind (ToM) was tested as the factor allowing children to reduce the detrimental effects of posttraumatic stress symptoms on negative coping. Hypotheses were tested in a sample of elementary school children and their parents in the aftermath of the earthquakes that struck Northern Italy in 2012. Results revealed that mothers' (but not fathers') posttraumatic stress symptoms were positively associated with children's posttraumatic stress symptoms, which acted as mediator on the use of negative coping strategies by children, but only among children with low ToM abilities. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of findings.
natural disaster
post-traumatic stress disorder
theory of mind
coping strategies
earthquake
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
CadamuroVezzaliVersariTrifiletti2015.pdf

solo utenti autorizzati

Descrizione: articolo principale
Licenza: Accesso ristretto
Dimensione 169.92 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
169.92 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/957465
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact