What is it about?

The El Niño phenomenon in Peru affects thousands of individuals on a cyclical basis, leaving social, economic, and physical sequelae. This can cause profound psychological changes in those affected, namely posttraumatic stress (PTSS) as well as posttraumatic growth (PTG). We examined 1077 Peruvian survivors of El Niño and found that both PTSS and PTG occurred and that having experienced strength-based parenting in childhood was related to reduced stress and increased growth.

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Why is it important?

This study shows that it is possible to experience positive mental health outcomes even in the face of posttraumatic stress after a natural disaster. The study identifies an important factor (strength-based parenting) that can promote such outcomes. This factor should be included in individual- and community-level interventions.


It was a pleasure writing this article in such a collaborative manner. Research on Latin American countries, especially from a strengths perspective, is lacking and we are happy to contribute to this area.

Claudia Zavala
Teachers College, Columbia University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The role of strength-based parenting, posttraumatic stress, and event exposure on posttraumatic growth in flood survivors., Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy, April 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/tra0001229.
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