The Role of Maternal Health on Children’s Health in the Long-term Aftermath of Disaster

  • S. Exenberger
  • B. Juen


B This paper examined the association of mothers’ and children’s posttraumatic stress reactions in the long-term aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami in South India. M 106 mothers gave answers for their 221 tsunami-affected children to the Traumatic Events Screening Inventory and the Parent Report of Child’s Reaction to Stress. The Impact of Event Scale and the General Health Questionnaire were used to gain information about mothers’ health status. The children (aged 8 to 17) were single and double orphans either living with their biological parent or in an out-of-home care organisation. The impact of mothers’ health, children’s prior trauma history and pre-existing characteristics on children’s stress reactions were analysed with hierarchial multiple regression analysis. F The results showed that general health of the mothers (ß=.46, p<.001) significantly predicted the amount of trauma symptoms in children, as does the context in which the children lived (ß=-.18, p<.05). D The findings were discussed in the light of that mothers’ health need to be secured in order to enable children’s well-being. This study is part of the project Post-tsunami which was funded by the European Commission.
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