Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Sarah Lowe

Abstract

Emerging research has focused on the intersection of personal and parental trauma within intergenerational trauma (IGT) transmission, specifically offspring adverse childhood experiences due to trauma-related parenting behaviors. However, the role that offspring childhood trauma and its various subtypes may play in moderating or mediating IGT transmission, as well as the impact of caregiver sex, are still remains largely understudied. We examined how the transmission of PTSD between survivors of the 1994 genocide to their offspring might be either (a) mediated by overall and subtypes of offspring childhood trauma, or (b) moderated by overall and subtypes of offspring childhood trauma, and (c) how these relationships might vary by parental sex. A total of 171 Rwandan citizens between 18-40 years old, who were offspring of genocide survivors, completed an online Qualtrics survey. We performed a series of regression models investigating childhood trauma as a mediator or moderator across subsets of maternal-exposure and paternal-exposure participant data. We found significant indirect effects of maternal PTSD symptoms on offspring secondary PTSD symptoms via overall childhood trauma (Est.=0.12, SE=0.05, p=.022) and physical neglect (Est.=0.13, SE =0.05, p =.005), and of paternal PTSD symptoms on offspring secondary PTSD symptoms via overall childhood trauma (Est.=0.10, SE=0.05, p=.042) and physical abuse (Est.=0.06, SE=0.03, p =.044). Additionally, the link between paternal PTSD and offspring secondary PTSD was significantly weaker among children with higher emotional abuse and with higher physical neglect. This study elucidates heterogeneous roles that childhood trauma subtypes may have within IGT transmission, particularly differentiated by parental sex. These findings have implications on clinical interventions amongst survivors of genocides and other vulnerable populations, and point toward the need for further research.

Comments

This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 05/19/2023

Share

COinS