The mother-child dyad facing trauma: A developmental outlook

Leo Wolmer*, Nathaniel Laor, Avner Gershon, Linda C. Mayes, Donald J. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The effects of trauma in children are amply documented. This paper investigated the relationship between children's age and posttraumatic clusters of symptoms 30 months after the end of the Gulf War and the mother's reaction to the trauma 6 and 30 months after the war. Fifty-one children aged 6 to 8 years (3 to 5 years during the war) and their mothers were interviewed. Results showed no age differences in the various posttraumatic symptoms of the children. Correlations between the children's posttraumatic symptoms and both the general and the specific posttraumatic symptoms of their mothers were positive and significant in the 6-year-olds, positive and nonsignificant in the 7-year-olds, and nonsignificant and mostly negative in the 8- year-olds. These findings may reflect the developmental changes that render the older child more autonomous and the younger child rigidly attached to the mother after a traumatic event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


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