The correlation between social support and post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis

Allen, Leila, Jones, Christopher, Fox, Andrew, Copello, Alexandre, Jones, Natalie and Meiser-Stedman, Richard (2021) The correlation between social support and post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 294. pp. 543-557. ISSN 0165-0327

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Abstract

Background: Risk factors exploring the link between trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have been extensively explored in adults, however, less is known about child and adolescent populations. Methods: The current meta-analysis aimed to systematically evaluate and summarise the child focused literature to estimate the strength of the relationship between social support and PTSD symptoms following traumatic events. Results: Fifty primary studies reporting an effect size for the relationship between total social support scale or a source of social support with PTSD were included. A small effect size was found for the relationship between social support and PTSD (r=-0.12, 95% CI -0.16 to -0.07, k=41), with large heterogeneity (I2 = 90.3%). The effect sizes between peer support (r=-0.18, 95% CI -0.10 to -0.25, k= 12), family support (r=-0.16, 95% CI -0.09 to -0.24, k= 13) and teacher support (r=-0.20, 95% CI -0.15 to -0.24, k=5) and PTSD were also small. Moderator analyses indicated that studies reporting on participants exposed to abuse (r=-0.25) and correlations based on univariate data (r=-0.14) had higher correlations and medium heterogeneity. The main effect size was robust to publication bias and study quality. Limitations: The cross-sectional design of the studies limits the findings and future research using prospective and longitudinal design would help to explain the relationship between social support and PTSD further. Conclusions: The current review suggests that social support may only play a small role in protecting against PTSD and future research may benefit from exploring the link between post-trauma cognitions and social support.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescents,child,meta-analysis,ptsd,post-traumatic stress disorder,social support,clinical psychology,psychiatry and mental health ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3203
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 00:07
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 01:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/80682
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.028

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