Autobiographical memory in children and adolescents with acute stress and chronic posttraumatic stress disorder

Reginald Nixon, Shelley-Anne Ball, Jisca Sterk, Talitha Best, Lisa Beatty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Children exposed to traumatic events either recently (Study 1) or in the past (Study 2) were administered the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT). In Study 1 (N = 67), when asked to retrieve memories from the 24-hour period following their trauma, children with higher levels of acute stress disorder symptoms retrieved a greater number of specific memories on the AMT than either children with low acute stress levels or hospital control children; no difference between groups was observed when memories were retrieved from a period that predated their trauma. However, in Study 2 (N = 67) children with posttraumatic stress disorder retrieved fewer specific memories than non-PTSD controls. The two studies represent the first occasions that AMT performance has been examined in acutely traumatised children and in a sample of children stringently diagnosed with PTSD respectively. The findings underscore the need for further prospective research with clinical samples of children who have experienced trauma.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)180-198
    Number of pages19
    JournalBehaviour Change
    Volume30
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • AMT
    • Autobiographical memory
    • children
    • PTSD
    • Trauma

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