The relationship between childhood support and later emergence of PTSD


  • Portions of this paper were presented at the 20th annual conference of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, November 2004, New Orleans, LA.


The authors examine the relationship between three sources of social support (maternal, paternal, and peer) and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study utilized data from the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), a large (N = 5,877) nationally representative population survey. Persons with and without a lifetime history of PTSD and those with and without a history of trauma exposure were compared on levels of social support received prior to age 15. Persons with a history of PTSD reported that they received less maternal, paternal, and peer support as children than those without PTSD. Importantly, persons who developed PTSD after the age of 17 reported lower levels of early childhood support from their fathers.*