Center for Injury Research and Prevention

The Role of Appraisals and Coping in Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Following Pediatric Injury.

TitleThe Role of Appraisals and Coping in Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Following Pediatric Injury.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMarsac ML, Ciesla J, Barakat LP, Hildenbrand AK, Delahanty DL, Widaman K, Winston FK, Kassam-Adams N
JournalPsychol Trauma
Date Published04/2016

OBJECTIVE: Given the millions of children who experience potentially traumatic injuries each year and the need to maximize emotional and physical health outcomes following pediatric injury, the current study examined the individual and collective contributions of the malleable variables of appraisals and coping in predicting posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in children following injury.

METHOD: This study combined data from 3 prospective investigations of recovery from pediatric injury (N = 688) in which children ages 8-17 years were recruited shortly after an injury (within 4 weeks). At baseline (T1), children completed measures of their threat appraisals of the injury event and PTSS. Six to twelve weeks later (T2), children completed a measure of coping and PTSS. Finally, PTSS was assessed again 6 months post-injury (T3).

RESULTS: Structural equation modeling analyses provide evidence that appraisals and coping contribute to PTSS. Furthermore, results suggest that escape coping mediates the relationship between threat appraisals and PTSS.

CONCLUSIONS: Early interventions designed to prevent or reduce PTSS after pediatric injury may be more successful if they primarily target modifying escape coping behaviors. To best inform clinical practice, future research should examine factors influencing the development of children's appraisals and coping behaviors in the context of potentially traumatic events. (PsycINFO Database Record

Alternate JournalPsychol Trauma
PubMed ID27065067