Family functioning in the aftermath of a natural disaster

McDermott, Brett M., and Cobham, Vanessa E. (2012) Family functioning in the aftermath of a natural disaster. BMC Psychiatry, 12 (55). pp. 1-7.

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Abstract

Background: Increased understanding of the complex determinants of adverse child mental health outcomes following acute stress such as natural disasters has led to a resurgence of interest in the role of parent psychopathology and parenting. The authors investigated whether family functioning in the post-disaster environment would be impaired relative to a non-exposed sample and potential correlates with family functioning such as disaster-related exposure and child posttraumatic mental health symptoms.

Methods: Three months after a category 5 tropical cyclone that impacted north Queensland Australia, school-based screening was undertaken to case identify children who may benefit from a mental health intervention. Along with obtaining informed consent, parents completed a measure of family functioning.

Results: Of 145 families of children aged 8 to 12 years, 28.3% met criteria for dysfunction on the Family Adjustment Device, double the frequency in a community sample. The dysfunction group was significantly more likely to have experienced more internalising (anxiety/depression) symptoms. However, in an adjusted logistic regression model this group were not more likely to have elevated disaster-related exposure nor did children in these families validate more PTSD symptoms.

Conclusions: The implications of post-disaster discordant family functioning and possible different causal pathways for depressive and PTSD-related symptomatic responses to traumatic events are discussed.

Item ID: 44543
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-244X
Additional Information:

© McDermott and Cobham; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 01:21
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 100%
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