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  • PTSD
  • TF-CBT
  • caregiver
  • child trauma
  • therapy process
  • Caregivers
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Narration
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Treatment Outcome

Caregiver Behaviors and Child Distress in Trauma Narration and Processing Sessions of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).


Journal Title:

Behav Ther


Volume 53, Number 1


, Pages 64-79

Type of Work:



Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an effective treatment for children impacted by trauma, and non-offending caregivers play an important role in this treatment. This study aims to identify correlates of four caregiver variables that have been identified as predictors of child outcomes in TF-CBT: support, cognitive-emotional processing, avoidance, and blame/criticism. Audio recorded sessions were coded from a community effectiveness trial of TF-CBT that included 71 child-caregiver dyads participating in the trauma narration and processing phase of treatment. Regression analyses were conducted to examine caregiver trauma history and child baseline symptoms (internalizing, externalizing, and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] symptoms) as predictors of caregiver behavior during the trauma processing sessions. Caregivers who reported exposure to more trauma types exhibited more in-session avoidance and also processing during the trauma processing phase of treatment. Child symptoms at baseline did not predict caregiver in-session behaviors. Bivariate correlations were used to investigate concurrent associations between mean levels of in-session caregiver behaviors and in-session child distress (negative emotion, hopelessness, negative behaviors). More caregiver blame/criticism was associated with more in-session child distress on all three measures. Caregiver avoidance was associated with more child negative emotion and hopelessness. Findings may help identify therapeutic targets when working with caregivers to promote change and enhance TF-CBT outcomes.
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