Foster children's complex psychopathology in the context of cumulative childhood trauma

Autor(en)
Alexander Haselgruber, Matthias Knefel, Katharina Sölva, Brigitte Lueger-Schuster
Abstrakt

BACKGROUND: Foster children experience maltreatment at exceptionally high rates with increased risk to develop ICD-11 complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). While rates of comorbidity between CPTSD and various disorders are high, the interplay between constituent aspects of psychopathology is not clearly understood. No study used network analysis to model the interplay between these aspects as potentially maintaining a stable condition of psychopathology, and research on the etiology and maintenance of CPTSD in children is especially scarce.

METHODS: Altogether, 208 Austrian foster children completed a set of standardized measures, resulting in a final sample of N = 122 foster children meeting the inclusion criteria. Experiences of childhood trauma, ICD-11 CPTSD, depression, dissociation, adaptive, and maladaptive emotion regulation were assessed. Following an exploratory approach, analyses were conducted using latent single indicator factor scores in two network models.

RESULTS: Domains of CPTSD, PTSD and disturbances in self-organization (DSO), evidenced as most central factors in children's complex psychopathology. Including cumulative childhood trauma did not influence the connectedness of factors in any relevant way. Shortest direct paths from cumulative childhood trauma to CPTSD included dissociation (PTSD) and adaptive emotion regulation (DSO) as mediating factors.

LIMITATIONS: Results are based on a small sample of highly-traumatized foster children, potentially limiting current findings' generalizability.

CONCLUSIONS: CPTSD identified as central in children's complex psychopathology, while the role of childhood trauma seems stronger for the onset than the maintenance of such psychopathology. The current network revealed central disorders and distinct mediating factors as important targets for treatment strategies and future research.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Klinische und Gesundheitspsychologie
Journal
Journal of Affective Disorders
Band
282
Seiten
372-380
ISSN
0165-0327
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.12.116
Publikationsdatum
2020
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
501010 Klinische Psychologie, 302065 Psychiatrie
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/foster-childrens-complex-psychopathology-in-the-context-of-cumulative-childhood-trauma(06a1a8d7-d92c-4b9c-b0a3-eec3312094f3).html