Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Weems, Carl

Second Advisor

Scheeringa, Michael

Third Advisor

Marsee, Monica


Children exposed to trauma experience many negative outcomes including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fortunately, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for PTSD. Theoretically it may be that not only do children do better in treatment when their parents are involved, but that there is also a reciprocal relationship such that as children improve their parents feel better as well (and vice a versa). Using data from a randomized trial (Scheeringa & Weems, 2014), this thesis used Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to test if change in child PTSD symptoms mediates change in parent depression symptoms, and vice a versa, across treatment sessions. Results indicated that maternal depression mediates child PTSD symptoms, and that the reciprocal relationship is present. However, this was only true when child PTSD symptoms were measured by parent report. The addition of this reciprocal relationship finding to the literature and future directions are discussed.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.