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Service families living with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Toward a co-designed group program for children and parents

A three-part research study which will provide a knowledge base around the perceptions impacts and experiences of what it is like to be a child of a service parent with PTSD. Data from this research project will be used to inform a skills-based group intervention for service children and parents.

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There is a paucity of research around the impact of service-related parental PTSD on children.

The current study will provide a knowledge base of the perspectives of children and parents in veteran and first responder families with PTSD, with a focus on the child’s experiences. In particular, it will provide valuable information on the potential mechanisms and impacts of intergenerational transmission of trauma from parent to child which will inform the development of a therapeutic program for children of service parents with PTSD in Australia.

This research will comprise three distinct but interrelated pieces of work:

1. A systematic review of experiences of family members living with an Emergency First Responder with PTSD

2. A qualitative study of the perceptions of service family members including children aged 9-17 years, about the impacts of parental PTSD on the children. Children’s experiences of having a military or emergency first responder parent with PTSD: the perspectives of children and parents.

3. A participatory action research project (PAR) involving the co-design and development of a therapy/care model for children of veteran and emergency service families – living with posttraumatic stress.

For more information, please contact Karen May: [email protected]

  • Team/Investigators

    Karen May (Military and Emergency Services and Health Australia (MESHA)), Associate Professor Miranda Van Hooff (Military and Emergency Services and Health Australia (MESHA)), Dr Matthew Doherty (University of Adelaide), Dr Drew Carter (University of Adelaide)

  • Funding Body

    The Hospital Research Foundation - AVM Brett Espeland Memorial Scholarship

  • Year Commenced

    March 2018

  • Expected Completion Date

    June 2022

  • Contribution

    Investigator (Karen May, Associate Professor Miranda Van Hooff), Funder (MESHA, formally The Road Home)

  • MeSH Terms

    trauma, mental health, PTSD, emergency service, first responder, military, veteran, family, intervention, children

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