Interpersonal and intrapersonal trauma and its related dysfunctions as experienced by children of addict mothers

Year: 2016

Author: Lombard, Samantha

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Children of addicted mothers can experience Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Trauma [IIT] in many different ways. IIT is the result of experiencing varying forms of abuse or neglect (i.e., physical, sexual, or emotional), transient lifestyle (i.e., changing of home or school), or parental mental health problems (i.e., suicide). As a consequence of IIT, children may display a range of maladaptive developmental and psychological functioning. A psychosocial model was adopted to classify the various types of IIT and related dysfunctions (as a result of IIT) that children are likely to experience. These IIT’s and dysfunctions were classified and mapped according to severity as informed by DSM V (2015). Archival files (36 files, 69 participants, male=39 and female=30) from a residential rehabilitation facility were reviewed. Children’s descriptive symptomologies were extracted from the files and classified to determine the saliency and severity of IIT and the consequential dysfunctions relative to their mother’s identified primary substance addiction. Results showed that children experience a complexity of compounding IIT and dysfunctions in all areas, which may be the result of varying degrees of severity and frequency of IIT exposure. The most common dysfunctions found was a range of cognitive, language and communication delays and disabilities. Maternal neglect was found as the most salient form of IIT, followed by transient housing, sexual abuse and social isolation.