Depression and stress responses in parents of burned children

David F. Cella*, Samuel W. Perry, Molly E. Poag, Robert Amand, Cleon Goodwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Parents of children hospitalized for acute burns (n =36) and parents of children hospitalized for other procedures (n =22) were interviewed and assessed with standardized psychological tests within the first week of their children's hospitalization. The two groups were similar demographically, and both groups were highly distressed on measures of state anxiety and general distress. However, depression, hopelessness, and stress response symptoms of intrusion and avoidance were significantly more prominent in the parents of burned children. When social support was entered as a covariate, the difference between groups in hopelessness was explained, but not the differences in depression or stress response symptoms. These data indicate that the parental response to hospitalization of a burned child is quantitatively and qualitatively different than parental response to hospitalization for other procedures. Psychotherapeutic interventions should involve specific methods to reduce depression andposttraumatic intrusive and avoidant stress responses. The theoretical relevance of these data with respect to the development of stress response syndromes in parents of burned children in discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1988


  • Burns
  • Depression
  • Parents
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Depression and stress responses in parents of burned children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this