Shared PTSD Between Parent and Child: Forensic Implications

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Dr. Mathew Nguyen, Vice President, Acute Care Services at Meridian Behavioural Healthcare joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Shared PTSD Between Parent and Child: Forensic Implications’.


The diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a key point in many civil litigation cases regarding minors and establishing causality between perceived trauma and psychological sequelae can be difficult. Complicating this further is the effect of the perceived trauma on the minor’s parents and their psychological reaction. A parent with post-traumatic stress-like symptoms (PTSS) can be just as influential to a child developing symptoms to a trauma as the initial trauma itself. In such cases, can minors ultimately be diagnosed with PTSD if they eventually exhibit all of the diagnostic criteria? We will explore this conundrum and discuss the forensic implications and the potential effects of the updated diagnostic criteria of PTSD in DSM-V.


Mathew Nguyen, MD, MBA received his medical school training from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, his internship from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, psychiatric residency from Georgetown University and Child Psychiatry fellowship from the University of Florida. He served as faculty at the University of Florida for 16 years and headed the Divisions of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison Services, Eating Disorders, and Medical Psychology during that time. He currently serves as Vice President of Acute Care Services at Meridian Behavioural Healthcare.

For further information on the 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit



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