Posttraumatic stress and growth symptoms in parents of premature infants: The role of rumination type and social support.

Galpin, Josie (2013) Posttraumatic stress and growth symptoms in parents of premature infants: The role of rumination type and social support. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Research has started to recognise premature birth and subsequent hospitalisation of the infant as a potentially traumatic experience for parents. There is also a growing interest within the trauma literature, of the potentially positive psychological changes that can occur following a traumatic experience, termed posttraumatic growth (PTG).
The purpose of this cross-sectional, correlational study was to report rates of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and PTG in parents of premature babies, 4-8 weeks after discharge from the Neonatal Unit (NNU) or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The study also aimed to explore the role of intrusive and deliberate rumination and social support in the development of PTG as described by the Tedeschi and Calhoun (2004) model of PTG.
Thirty mother-father pairs and an additional twenty-three mothers were recruited from 2 NNUs and 2 NICUs in East Anglia, during 2 recruitment periods lasting 7 months and 3 months respectively. These parents completed 6 self-report questionnaires, 4-8 weeks post discharge from hospital. Parents completed validated measures of PTSS (IES-R), PTG (PTGI), intrusive and deliberate rumination (ERRI), social support (CSS) and depression (CES-D).
Deliberate rumination was found to be a significant predictor of PTG development, more so than PTSS, intrusive rumination and social support. PTSS and PTG were positively correlated for mothers only (r = .381, p < .01). Of the whole sample, 10/53 (19%) of mothers and 1/30 (3%) of fathers met the screening criteria for PTSD. Twelve of 53 (23%) of mothers and 5/30 (17%) of fathers reported moderate levels of PTG. Mothers reported significantly higher levels of PTSS (p = .023), PTG (p = .018), deliberate rumination (p = .007) and intrusive rumination (p = .000) than fathers.
This study demonstrated the existence of both PTSS and PTG in mothers and fathers of premature infants who have been hospitalised on a NICU. These data suggest that further study is indicated of the impact of PTG on future parental well-being following the stress associated with premature birth and hospitalisation. Deliberate rumination has been found to be a potentially significant factor in the development of PTG, therefore, future studies are needed to test this aspect of the PTG (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004) model further.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Users 7453 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2014 10:44
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2023 12:51


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