Feasibility and Preliminary Impact of a Community-Based Intervention for Maternal PTSD and Parenting: Parenting-STAIR Pilot

Kathrine S. Sullivan, Kelly Ancharski, Whitney Wortham, Mercedes Okosi, Debra Kaplan, Anthony Urquiza, Susan Timmer, Marylene Cloitre, Claude Chemtob, Michael A. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impact emotional and physical well-being, social functioning, and parent-child relationship quality. The effect of parental trauma on parenting and child maltreatment is often overlooked by current child welfare (CW) services. The novel intervention, Parenting-STAIR, was created to address maternal mental health, parenting skills, and child well-being outcomes. Parenting-STAIR is a combination of Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR) Narrative Therapy and Parent-Child Care (PC-CARE). This open pilot study aimed to examine the feasibility and preliminary impact of Parenting-STAIR in reducing maternal PTSD and increasing positive parenting skills for mothers and families involved in the child welfare system. Parenting-STAIR was delivered to 111 mothers receiving family preservation services in New York City. Of these, 70 completed treatment; statistical and clinically significant changes were observed for maternal PTSD and depression as well as in parenting stress, parenting skills, and child behaviors. These findings provide encouraging initial evidence for the feasibility and impact of this novel PTSD intervention. An evaluation of maltreatment recidivism is needed, as well as implementation of a randomized controlled trial to establish efficacy of the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-497
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Child maltreatment
  • PTSD
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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