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. 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
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 00:07
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 00:07
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/80682
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.028

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