Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Cornelia Ramsey


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that occurs when people are exposed to stressful, life-threatening experiences. Consequently, after exposure to such an event, many people may experience fear, guilt, or anger and may believe the trauma is reoccurring. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 5.2 million U.S. adults age 18-54 have PTSD in any given year. The prevalence of PTSD is even more problematic within the military where an estimated 30% of those who have spent time in war zones experiences PTSD. Researchers have been examining the impact of veterans’ PTSD symptoms on family relationships, and on children in particular yet there is little understanding of the residual impact of PTSD or its secondary effects on children. This study aims to begin to understand how the health care providers’ experiences and acumen may assist patients with addressing PTSD. Additionally, by exploring the treatments and experiences of physicians, further insight and a deeper understanding may be gained on how PTSD impacts family relationships, specifically, hardiness and parental skills. A secondary aim of this study is identify those factors that promote resiliency in hopes of creating new interventions to lessen the residual effects of PTSD and prevent intergenerational trauma. This study begins to explore the residual impact of PTSD and will contribute to inform future research to design new methods and tools which may assist physicians to address intergenerational PTSD. This study was approved by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Institutional Review Board (IRB).


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

Included in

Epidemiology Commons