Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Kasee K. Stratton-Gadke

Committee Member

Daniel L. Gadke

Committee Member

Tianlan Wei

Committee Member

Cheryl Justice

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


School Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


The current study aimed to focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms in parents who have a child diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome called CHARGE Syndrome. While previous studies have investigated related factors to parental PTSD (Reda & Hartshorne, 2008; Wulffaert et al., 2009), this study was one of the first to focus on parental PTSD symptomology and possible traumatic experiences related to CHARGE (e.g., medical complications). Specific concerns related to PTSD addressed in the current study included trauma histories, the number of surgeries a child underwent, and parent stress levels. One hundred and ninety-seven parents completed surveys that met inclusion criteria for the study. Findings indicated that 48% of parents showed signs of PTSD based on reported symptomology. Additionally, higher parent stress levels were found to be contributed to greater symptomology presentation. Overall outcomes of the study demonstrate that PTSD and parent stress levels may affect parents' abilities to adequately provide the needed emotional support and care for their children with CHARGE Syndrome without support. This study paves the way for additional research in this area to focus on the screening and development of treatment resources for parents of children with CHARGE Syndrome. Future directions and limitations were discussed in detail.