A Phenomenological Study Exploring Parenting Practice Experiences of Adults With United States Veteran Fathers Diagnosed With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Related to Post-9/11 Military Trauma
According to Wenger et al. (2018), over 5.4 million deployments occurred during this period, averaging nearly two deployments served per deployed service member. Nearly 13% of Veterans meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis (Xue et al., 2015). Research in the field primarily focused on Veterans' trauma experiences and responses; however, trauma studies neglect to explore military families' dynamics from the perspective of adult parents with U.S. Veteran fathers diagnosed with PTSD (P-PTSD) since September 11, 2001. Thus, there is a need to understand how adult parents with P-PTSDs assume parenthood in families impacted by PTSD. The purpose of this study was to capture thoughts on parenting practices held by adult parents with at least one P-PTSD who served after September 11, 2001. This phenomenological study explored eight participants' experiences with P-PTSD's intergenerational trauma transmission influence on second-generation parenting practices. The intent was to understand how adult parents with P-PTSD view the parenting they received during their childhood and how it impacted parenting practices implemented with their children. I identified the following themes and their invariant constituents as pertinent to all participant experiences: P-PTSD Relationship Attributes (participant and P-PTSD Relationship qualities), Participants' Parenting Practices (do's and don'ts participants deemed successful parenting), P-PTSD's Parenting Influence (how participants were influenced by their P-PTSD), Other Caregiver Influence (significant caregiving received from others; e.g., other parents, family, or friends), and Connections to Attachment Theory (participant statements reflecting attachment styles).