Children of parents who suffered mistreatment (trauma) are three times as likely to become victims of mistreatment themselves. Even without mistreatment, these children often present with early developmental problems—and the psychological and biological mechanisms behind the cross-generational transmission of trauma-related risk remain poorly understood. Moreover, there are no parental support programs aimed at interrupting the risk of transmission beginning at pregnancy.
Dr. Nicolas Berthelot, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Trauma, is leading a team that is working to increase our understanding of these transmission mechanisms. They are also trying to develop and assess measures aimed at interrupting the trajectory of cross-generational risk.