Posttraumatic Symptoms Among Toddlers and Their Parents Following Exposure to Terrorism

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00447538
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 14, 2007
Last Update Posted : April 30, 2013
Picower Foundation
Information provided by:
Herzog Hospital

Brief Summary:

The project utilize experience and knowledge gained from previous early childhood projects in NYC post 9/11 and Sderot. The overall goals are:

  1. Identifying young children (under 6 years old) and their parents who are suffering from posttraumatic distress in the aftermath of the continuing conflict on Gaza border, Israel.
  2. Increasing the capacity of local institutions to treat toddlers and families at risk.
  3. Providing resilience -building services that strengthen the coping abilities of families and caregivers in response to continual terrorism.

Condition or disease
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Detailed Description:

This project's aim is to identify psychological distress, build resilience among toddlers and their parents, and treat post traumatic stress disorder. The project components have consisted of a) using resilience-building interventions geared toward helping parents and daycare teachers deal with the stress engendered by the repeated emergency situations b) screening toddlers (24-48 months) for post traumatic distress utilizing new validated instruments c) referring highly symptomatic children and parents to dyadic treatment which focuses on observing the dynamics and interaction between parents and children before treatment intervention with the (more typically) mother/child.

Research into childhood trauma has clearly demonstrated that infants and children impacted by terrorism or with mothers who have suffered traumatic experiences are at very high risk for a multitude of long-term emotional disorders. Mothers suffering the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) have difficulty providing the emotional holding environment and relational foundation necessary for healthy attachment and bonding. An anxious or traumatized mother will have difficulty soothing her child if she herself is in a state of emotional and physical hyper-arousal.

The project is aimed at identifying children who are suffering from posttraumatic distress and increasing capacity to provide treatment for them and for their caretakers. The project will be implemented in Sderot. Professional staff (teachers, nurses and aides) will be trained to conduct a systematic short screening in order to identify families with babies, toddlers and young children suffering from, or at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The elements of the project will consist of:

A. Screening of young children and implementation of treatment The screening will consist of a short interviews with parents conducted by trained professional about exposure to traumatic events and resulting post-traumatic specific symptoms among the toddlers and their parents.

B. Workshops for parents, teachers, nurses The knowledge and skills of preschool teachers and nurses working in all our projects sights as well as parents will be increased by providing training regarding the impact of war related trauma on preschool children. Workshops will better equip teachers, nurses and parents with knowledge about the emotional impact of trauma on young children and will increase the skills to help preschool children contain emotional distress as well as to help them in coping with the emotional consequences of trauma exposure.

C. Treatment Interventions Dyadic treatment involving parents and children is aimed at increasing the attunement of parents to their toddlers and their needs in times of crises. Local practitioners in Sderot will received specialized training in this methodology by a child trauma specialist from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. The effectiveness of the dyadic treatment will be evaluated.

D. Evaluation of treatment Evaluation of treatment efficacy (dyadic treatment) will be assessed by pre and post interviews that will be conducted by trained professionals with all parents participating in the dyadic treatments in each of the three cities.

Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 300 participants
Time Perspective: Retrospective
Official Title: Identifying Distress, Developmental and Behavioral Problems Among Toddlers, and Posttraumatic Distress Among Their Parents Following Continuous Exposure to Terrorism
Study Start Date : November 2005
Study Completion Date : January 2007

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Ages Eligible for Study:   24 Months to 48 Months   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Families with children between 24-48
  • Families living in Sderot, Israel

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Children with severe developmental problems

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00447538

Sderot, Israel
Sponsors and Collaborators
Herzog Hospital
Picower Foundation
Principal Investigator: Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Ph.D Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma Identifier: NCT00447538     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Rpat1CTIL
First Posted: March 14, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 30, 2013
Last Verified: April 2013

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders