Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Mindy Staveteig


TSD, STS, divorce rate, mood disorder, therapy, pharmacological regimen


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that affects an individual directly, while also affecting their family members around them. While PTSD is not directly correlated to the development of Secondary Stress Disorder (STS), PTSD has been shown to lead to increased rates of divorce and mood disorders in children whose parents are diagnosed with PTSD. Children who have grown up with divorced parents, or parents with PTSD, have been shown to have an increased chances of developing mood disorders and risky lifestyle behaviors. The combination of having a parent with PTSD who are also divorced, would likely increase the odds even further of developing a mood disorder. While there are no set guidelines for the treatment of PTSD, the use of various types of group therapies that include family members has been shown to increase relationship satisfaction. While this type of method is useful, individual therapy or even pharmacologic regimens should also be included for best results. Educating family members about PTSD, and what the symptoms look like, can help reduce the increased stress associated with PTSD symptoms. If families are educated properly, divorce rates and mood disorder development among family members can be decreased.