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Author Notes:

brittany.robinson@aya.yale.edu; (678) 576-3626



  • maternal trauma
  • parenting
  • maternal depression
  • child anxiety
  • trauma
  • anxiety

Maternal Trauma Exposure and Childhood Anxiety Outcomes: Examining Psychosocial Mechanisms of Risk


Journal Title:



Volume 47, Number 4


, Pages 645-657

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


The current study aimed to explore the relationship between maternal exposure to various types of trauma and child anxiety outcomes, and to investigate maternal depression and parenting quality as potential mediators of these relationships. Aims were examined within a sample of 185 mother-child dyads who participated in a longitudinal study assessing maternal trauma history, maternal depression, and parenting quality at preschool age (ages 2.5 to 5.5 years), and for whom maternal and secondary caregiver reports of child anxiety were obtained at school age (ages 6 to 11 years). Hypotheses were that (1) maternal exposure to trauma would be positively associated with anxiety levels in offspring and that (2) parenting quality and maternal depression would mediate the relationship between maternal exposure to trauma and child anxiety. Results suggest a direct association between maternal trauma history and child anxiety, as well as indirect associations through parenting quality and maternal depression. These findings are discussed with regard to their implications for the prevention of child anxiety, as well as their implications for the advancement of the literature on intergenerational effects of trauma.
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