An exploration of potential pressures to engage in parenting accommodation of PTSD symptoms for military couples

Elizabeth S. Allen, Keith D. Renshaw, Steffany J. Fredman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the context of service member posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, intimate partners may experience pressure to take over parenting roles and run interference between the service member and the children; that is, to engage in partner accommodation focal to parenting. The current study quantitatively assessed potential pressures to engage in parenting accommodation (PPEPA) in a sample of 207 female partners married to male service members with at least one child in the home and the convergence of PPEPA with service member PTSD symptoms, general partner accommodation, couple functioning, parenting, and child functioning. Partners' reports of PPEPA were associated with higher levels of service member PTSD symptoms and partners' general accommodation of PTSD symptoms. When controlling for service member PTSD symptoms and general partner accommodation, partner reports of PPEPA still accounted for unique variance in lower parenting alliance (as reported by both service member and partner), lower levels of service members' reports of closeness with children in the home, higher levels of harsh parenting by both the service member and partner, and greater child behavioral difficulties. Findings support PPEPA as related to partners' accommodative responses to PTSD but demonstrating unique associations with parenting alliance, parenting, and child outcomes. Parenting interventions in the context of PTSD may benefit from conjoint or family approaches that attend to the intersection of PTSD and broader family functioning, including pressures to engage in accommodation focal to the parenting domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-330
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Process
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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