Parent-child conversations contribute to understanding and regulating children’s emotions. Similarities and differences in discussed topics, quality of interaction and coherence/elaboration in mother-child conversations about emotional experiences of the child were studied in dyads who had been exposed to interpersonal trauma (N = 213) and non-trauma-exposed dyads (N = 86). Results showed that in conversations about negative emotions, trauma-exposed children more often discussed trauma topics and focused less on relationship topics than non-trauma-exposed children. Trauma-exposed dyads found it more difficult to come up with a story. The most common topics chosen by dyads to discuss for each emotion were mostly similar between trauma-exposed dyads and non-trauma-exposed dyads. Dyads exposed to interpersonal traumatic events showed lower quality of interaction and less coherence/elaboration than dyads who had not experienced traumatic events. Discussion of traumatic topics was associated with lower quality of mother-child interaction and less coherent dialogues. In conclusion, the effect of the trauma is seen at several levels in mother-child interaction: topics, behavior and coherence. A focus on support in developing a secure relationship after trauma may be important for intervention.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|State||Published - 1 Mar 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This study was funded by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences; KNAW), project number UPS/PM/3971.
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Emotion conversation
- Emotion dialogue
- Marital violence
- Mother-child interaction
- Parent-child communication
- Sexual abuse
- Trauma exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis