Comprendre et interrompre la transmission intergénérationnelle du risque associé à l'abus et à la négligence envers les enfants


Nicolas Berthelot

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières [UQTR]


Domaine : santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020

Child abuse and neglect are major public health issues. Pregnancy and the year following childbirth are critical transitional periods for adults with personal histories of childhood abuse or neglect, as the level of adaptation required may trigger or exacerbate their biopsychosocial vulnerabilities. In addition, child abuse and neglect have intergenerational consequences: offspring of parents with a history of childhood trauma are at high risk of developmental problems and are three times more likely to experience childhood maltreatment than offspring of non-abused parents. The biological and psychological mechanisms explaining the intergenerational transmission of risk remain misunderstood. Furthermore, no or few prenatal intervention addresses the specific needs of expectant parents with a history of trauma.

The research program targets the most important domains in the study of the intergenerational transmission of trauma, namely (1) the mechanisms mediating the intergenerational transmission of risk associate with childhood abuse and neglect, and (2) the implementation and evaluation of a preventive program aiming to interrupt the intergenerational risk trajectories. The program simultaneously addresses three targets: the parent, the child and the intervention. Results will have important implications for clinical practice and public health.