Post-traumatic stress symptoms and parenting in military families: A systematic integrative review

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among service members portends substantial impairments not only for the affected individual but also for their families. However, the association between PTSD symptoms and specific parenting domains remains understudied. Drawing upon the Military Family Stress Model and the Cognitive Behavioral Interpersonal Theory of PTSD, this systematic review provides an overview and synthesis of the literature on PTSD symptoms and parenting in military families with the objective to examine associations between parental PTSD symptoms and key parenting domains. Following PRISMA guidelines, 27 empirical studies were reviewed. Five distinct parenting domains emerged across studies. The findings indicated that greater PTSD symptoms were generally associated with adverse parenting outcomes with some variation across different parenting domains, such that some parenting outcomes showed more consistent negative associations with parental PTSD symptoms than others. These results have significant implications for research and practice, providing insight for family-focused intervention/prevention studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-844
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Theory and Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 National Council for Family Relations.


  • PTSD symptoms
  • families
  • military
  • parenting
  • post-deployment
  • trauma


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