A longitudinal investigation of children's trauma memory characteristics and their relationship with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms

McGuire, Rosie, Hiller, Rachel M., Ehlers, Anke, Fearon, Pasco, Meiser-Stedman, Richard, Leuteritz, Sophie and Halligan, Sarah L. (2021) A longitudinal investigation of children's trauma memory characteristics and their relationship with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 49 (6). 807–816. ISSN 2730-7166

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Abstract

While trauma memory characteristics are considered a core predictor of adult PTSD, the literature on child PTSD is limited and inconsistent. We investigated whether children’s trauma memory characteristics predict their posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) at 1 month and 6 months post-trauma. We recruited 126 6–13 year olds who experienced a single-incident trauma that led to attendance at an emergency department. We assessed trauma memory disorganisation and sensory-emotional qualities through both narrative recall and self-report questionnaire, and PTSS at 1-month post-trauma and at 6-month follow-up. We found that, after controlling for age, children’s self-reported trauma memory characteristics were positively associated with their concurrent PTSS, and longitudinally predicted symptoms 6-months later. However, observable trauma memory characteristics coded from children’s narratives were not related to PTSS at any time. This suggests that children’s perceptions of their trauma memories are a more reliable predictor of the development and maintenance of PTSS than the nature of their trauma narrative, which has important implications for clinical practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: memory,narrative,posttraumatic stress,trauma,psychiatry and mental health,developmental and educational psychology,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2738
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 00:55
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 16:04
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/78243
DOI: 10.1007/s10802-021-00773-5

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