Skip to content

Treatment of Psychological Distress in Parents of Premature Infants

PTSD in the NICU

Edited by Richard J. Shaw, M.D., and Sarah Horwitz, Ph.D.

  • 2021
  • 366 Pages
  • ISBN 978-1-61537-365-9
  • Item #37365

View Pricing

List Price

APA Members

20% off

APA Resident-Fellow Members

25% off


At the outset of pregnancy, most parents expect a roughly 40-week journey punctuated by the birth of a healthy baby. When a preterm birth upends these expectations, the effects extend beyond the infant; there are real psychological consequences for the parents themselves.

Treatment of Psychological Distress in Parents of Premature Infants tackles these issues, shedding light on the high prevalence of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in parents following a premature birth.

More than a dozen experts lend their expertise as they examine not only the medical and neurological consequences of premature birth on infants but also recent findings on the psychological effects of premature birth on parents—including the particular issues that fathers experience, which receive their own chapter.

Uniquely, this volume outlines a comprehensive programmatic approach to psychological consultation in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The authors describe how to leverage common interventions—including trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy—in innovative ways to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD in NICU parents.

A chapter that focuses on vulnerable child syndrome underscores the implications of failing to address PTSD symptoms on parenting and child development and offers a parent-focused intervention to reduce unhealthy patterns of overprotective parenting.

The insights offered throughout the book—as well as in the complementary online treatment manual—will position readers to develop an entire program of psychological services, from screening to intervention, in the NICU.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Medical and Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Prematurity
  • Chapter 2. Psychological Adjustment in Mothers of Premature Infants
  • Chapter 3. Postpartum Psychological Experiences of Fathers of Premature Infants
  • Chapter 4. Psychological Interventions in the NICU
  • Chapter 5. Individual Trauma-Based Intervention for Mothers of Premature Infants
  • Chapter 6. Group-Based Trauma Intervention for Mothers of Premature Infants
  • Chapter 7. Vulnerable Child Syndrome
  • Chapter 8. Implementing the Evidence-Based Intervention to Address Psychological Distress in Women With Premature Infants
  • Index


    Tonyanna C. Borkovi, M.B.B.S.
    LaTrice L. Dowtin, Ph.D., LCPC, NCSP, RPT
    Emily A. Lilo, Ph.D., MPH
    Susan R. Hintz, M.D. M.S. Epi
    Sarah M. Horwitz, Ph.D.
    Soudabeh Givrad, M.D.
    Margaret Kathryn Hoge, M.D.
    Angelica Moreyra, Psy.D.
    Melissa Scala, M.D.
    Stephanie Seeman, M.A., M.S.
    Richard J. Shaw, M.D.
    Daniel B. Singley, Ph.D., ABPP
    Krisa P. Van Meurs, M.D.
    Emily Wharton, M.S.
    Tiffany Willis, Psy.D

About the Authors

Richard J. Shaw, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Child & Adolescent Psychiatry) and, by courtesy, of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Medical Director of the Pediatric Psychiatry Consult Service at the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

Sarah Horwitz, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York.

Related Products

Become an APA Member
Join Now