Co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among young children

Alison Salloum*, Carly Johnco, Kristin M. Smyth, Tanya K. Murphy, Eric A. Storch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine differences in: (1) mental health emotional and behavioral problems between young children experiencing PTSD with and without MDD; (2) the incidence of caregiver PTSD and MDD between children with PTSD ± MDD; and (3) the number of traumatic events and interpersonal versus non-interpersonal nature of trauma events among children whose parents sought child trauma-focused treatment. Sixty-six caregivers of children aged 3–7 with PTSD completed semi-structured interviews regarding caregiver and child diagnoses, and caregivers completed self-report measures regarding child symptomatology. Results indicated that young children with PTSD + MDD had significantly higher internalizing symptoms, dissociative symptoms, and posttraumatic stress severity than those without comorbid MDD. There were no significant group differences in the incidence of caregiver PTSD or MDD, or the number or types of traumatic events. Future research to understand the unique contributors to the etiology of MDD in the context of PTSD among young children is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452–459
Number of pages8
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number3
Early online date19 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • young children
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • depression
  • comorbidity


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