Session Abstract: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Previous research showed insecure paternal attachment to be a mediator between parental trauma and children's pathology (Spiel & Szymanski, 2018). Studies demonstrated the impact of race on trauma symptoms, e.g. Asian and African American veterans had higher PTSD severity than other ethnicities (Koo et al., 2016). Research has not assessed racial/ethnic differences in the intergenerational transmission of trauma. This study explores if the relationship between parental attachment security and adult child trauma symptoms is moderated by race/ethnicity when parental traumatization is present.

SUBJECTS: Archival data (Spiel & Szymanski, 2018) were utilized of 890 undergraduates (mean age=19.15, SD=1.64). Participants were 65.6% female, 39% Asian, 25.4% Caucasian, 17.7% Hispanic, and 8.2% African American. 44.6% reported parental trauma history.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Self-report questionnaires were administered online: Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment; Posttraumatic Checklist-5 (PCL-5).

ANALYSES: Pearson correlations were used to assess relationships between parental attachment and children's trauma symptoms; z-scores compared correlation coefficients.

RESULTS: Significant negative correlations existed between total PTSD symptomatology and both parental insecure attachments for each race/ethnicity [Asian paternal attachment, r=-.279 (p<.001) to Caucasian maternal attachment, r=-.426 (p<.001)]. The correlation between insecure maternal attachment and the Negative Mood/Cognition Cluster was significantly higher than the Avoidance Cluster for Asians (z=2.1, p=.018) and Caucasians (z=1.83, p=.034). The correlation between insecure paternal attachment and the Negative Mood/Cognition Cluster was significantly higher than the Intrusion Cluster for Asians (z=1.68, p=.047) and Hispanics (z=1.83, p=.034).

CONCLUSIONS: Results showed that for Asians, attachment insecurity to both parents was more impactful for alterations in mood and cognitions than other PTSD clusters. This suggests that in intergenerational trauma transmission, Asian young adult children's negative feelings and beliefs are particularly affected by insecure parental attachment. Future research will explore possible factors underlying this relationship. This study demonstrates importance of addressing race/ethnicity in intergenerational trauma.

Corresponding Author: Mackenzie Wild, MA | Adelphi University

Presentation 1 Title:Racial/Ethnic Differences in PTSD Expression: Post-Traumatic Mood and Cognitions in Asian Families


Mackenzie Wild, MA | Adelphi University

Leave a Reply