Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Karen Carlson, Ph.D., LICSW


Social Work


The American Psychological Association defines trauma as the emotional response to a terrible event. An event becomes traumatic when its adverse effects produce feelings of helplessness and lack of control, and thoughts that one’s survival may possibly be in danger. The purpose of this study was to collect data from licensed professionals who have experience working with children who have experienced trauma and their parents to determine the effects parental response to their child’s trauma have on their child’s trauma experience. Eight professionals were interviewed in this qualitative study to determine the effects of supportive and unsupportive parental responses. This study, like other studies on this topic, determined a correlation between a child’s response to trauma mimicking that of the parent as well as supportive responses correlating to more efficient recovery for the children involved. Unsupportive responses were correlated with negative behaviors, self-image, emotional disturbance, depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. The licensed professionals identified the Social Work Implication of needing preventative measures and education to parents about appropriate, healthy, and supportive responses to potentially traumatic events.

Included in

Social Work Commons