Trauma & PTSD Psychology

 Family Matters 

Context: Researchers have reported consistent patterns with regard to the effects of trauma and PTSD on families. Some of their findings suggest differences in the rates of spousal abuse and relationship satisfaction. Others show increased rates of distress and behavioral problems in children of PTSD survivors and children with PTSD as well.

Description: Drawing from the articles and chapters for this learning topic, please analyze the following vignette.

Cari is a married Hispanic woman with two children. Her house and adjacent houses in her neighborhood were recently struck by a tornado. She witnessed neighbors and family pets being ripped apart by the twister. Her house was demolished, but she and the members of her family were uninjured. Six months after the tornado, Cari feels quite peaceful and at ease. However, she and her husband are having trouble communicating. Frequently their discussions end in either yelling or one partner storming out of the house and visiting the local bar. Their sex life is non-existent. In addition, Cari can’t seem to solve simple problems of day-to-day life. Her children are quieter than usual at home. They are fighting with each other much less, but at school, they are showing signs of increased aggression and conflict.

Written in a two- to three-page essay, your analysis should incorporate answers to the following questions:

1. What specific patterns of behavior may be associated with trauma-related syndromes or PTSD?

2. Are the patterns of behavior consistent with those found in empirical research? Cite studies and findings that support your position.

3. If these patterns of behavior continue, what additional consequences could develop for the trauma survivor and family members?

4. What suggestions could be given in order to improve the prognosis for this family?

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