Women with PTSD may be more likely to mistreat their children

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that children with mothers with post-traumatic stress disorder or a combination of PTSD and depression are at a higher risk of experiencing maltreatment than those children whose mothers are only depressed or have neither disorder.

The researchers also found that mothers with co-morbid PTSD and depression were more likely to physically and psychologically abuse their children. Additionally, this group reported the highest levels of parenting stress.

The authors conclude that screening and intervention for mother’s with PTSD could help curb child abuse and neglect.

Nearly 100 mothers of children 3- to 5-years-old participated in the study.

The study, “Maternal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression in Pediatric Primary Care Association With Child Maltreatment and Frequency of Child Exposure to Traumatic Events,” was published online this week.