This study examined prospectively the role of parental psychopathology among other predictors in the development and persistence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 57 hospitalized youths aged 7-18 years immediately after a road traffic accident and 1 and 6 months later. Self report questionnaires and semistructured diagnostic interviews were used in all 3 assessments. Neuroendocrine evaluation was performed at the initial assessment. Maternal PTSD symptomatology predicted the development of children's PTSD 1 month after the event, OR = 6.99, 95% CI [1.049, 45.725]; the persistence of PTSD 6 months later was predicted by the child's increased evening salivary cortisol concentrations within 24 hours of the accident, OR = 1.006, 95% CI [1.001, 1.011]. Evaluation of both biological and psychosocial predictors that increase the risk for later development and maintenance of PTSD is important for appropriate early prevention and treatment.
Copyright © 2011 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.