SIG Child, Family and Trauma

Children of parents struggling with traumatic distress are at risk for developing psychological problems themselves. The Child, Family, and Trauma special interest group focuses on how families cope with traumatic events. Important questions are:

  • How does parental trauma influence the parent-child relationship and children’s development?
  • How do affected family members interact with each other?
  • What does parental trauma mean for children’s development?
  • How can we support parents in fulfilling their role, even when adversity hits the family?
  • What are effective interventions?

Children need their parents to be available for warmth, safety, and support to ensure healthy (identity) development. For parents who are struggling with traumatic distress, it might be especially difficult to recognize their child’s signals, respond adequately, and express adequate levels of affection. Parents’ ability to engage in behaviour that maintains and fosters the relationship with their child is likely to be hampered by their own worries and by coping with trauma. However, today, there is a lack of interventions to support families and to enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship. The development of these family-focused interventions will help prevent the intergenerational transmission of mental health problems.

The aim of the Child, Family, and Trauma SIG is to connect researchers interested in the above questions, to organize meetings and events around these themes, and to foster (interdisciplinary) collaborations.

If you are interested, please subscribe to the e-mail list of the ESTSS SIG Child, Family, and Trauma by filling out this form.

Do you have questions or would you like to have more information? You are very welcome to send an e-mail to Marjolein Missler ( and Trudy Mooren (

We hope to meet with you soon!