Parenting practices as potential mechanisms for child adjustment following mass trauma

Abigail Gewirtz, Marion Forgatch, Elizabeth Wieling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Trauma research has identified a link between parental adjustment and children's functioning and the sometimes ensuing intergenerational impact of traumatic events. The effects of traumatic events on children have been demonstrated to be mediated through their impact on children's parents. However, until now, little consideration has been given to the separate and more proximal mechanism of parenting practices as potential mediators between children's adjustment and traumatic events. To shed some light in this arena, we review literature on trauma, adversity, and resilience, and discuss how parenting practices may mediate trauma and adverse environmental contexts. Using a social interaction learning perspective (Forgatch & Knutson, 2002; Patterson, 2005), we propose a prevention research framework to examine the role that parenting practices may play in influencing children's adjustment in the wake of trauma exposure. The article concludes by providing a specific model and role for evidence-based parenting interventions for children exposed to mass trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of marital and family therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008


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