Acute Stress Reactions in Couples After a Burn Event to Their Young Child
Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 07/27/2012
Bakker A et al. – Mothers and fathers are seriously affected by their child’s burn trauma and share a part of their acute stress reactions. These results emphasize the importance of a family–based approach to support adjustment after pediatric medical trauma.Methods
- Participants were 182 mothers and 154 fathers, including 143 couples, of 193 children (0–4 years) with acute burns.
- Parents’ self-reported acute stress reactions and emotions regarding the burn event were measured within the first month postburn.
- More mothers than fathers reported clinically significant acute stress reactions.
- Multilevel analysis revealed that individual parent reactions were associated with parent gender and negative emotions about the burn event.
- Interestingly, avoidance symptoms overlapped to an important extent within couples, whereas intrusion symptoms were mainly intra-individual.
- Burn characteristics, such as burn size, contributed to acute stress within couples.