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PTSD and Memory of Stressful Events in Children
DID/Trauma/Memory Reference List
PTSD and Memory of Stressful Events In Children
Burgess, AW, Hartman, CR, & Baker, T. (1995). Memory presentations of child sexual abuse. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 33(9), 9-16.
19 children with a median age of 2 1/2 with documented history of day care sexual abuse. 11 had full verbal memory, 5 had fragmented verbal memory traces, and 3 had no memory at the age of 10 years. Children's memory has four dimensions: somatic, behavioral, verbal, and visual.

Ceci, SJ, Toglia, MP, & Ross, DF. (1987). Children's eyewitness memory. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Ceci, SJ & Bruck, M. (1993). Suggestibility of the child witness: A historical review and synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 403-439.

Doris, J. (Ed.). (1991). The suggestibility of children's recollections. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Fivush, R. (1993). Developmental perspectives on autobiographical recall. In GS Goodman & BL Bottoms (Eds.). Child victims, child witnesses; Understanding and improving testimony, pp. 1-24. New York: Guilford Press.

Fivush, R, & Hudson, J. (Eds.). (1987). Knowing and remembering in young children. New York: Cambridge University Press.  

Fivush, R & Schwarzmueller, A. (1995). Say it once again: Effects of repeated questions on children's event recall. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 8(4).
Review of research examining influences of repeated questioning on children's event recall.

Goodman, GS, Hirschman, JE, Hepps, D, & Ruby, L (1991). Children's memory for stressful events. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 37,109-158.  

Goodman, GS, Quas, J, Batterman-Fance, JM, et al. (1991). Predictors of accurate and inaccurate memories of traumatic events experienced in childhood. Consciousness and Cognition, 3(3), 269-294.
46 children undergoing urinary catheterization. A few children denied having the procedure. Facts of embarrassment, lack of discussion of the procedure with parents, and PTSD symptoms were predictive of poor memory performance.

Goodman, GS, Rudy, L., Bottoms, BL, & Aman, C. (1990). Children's concerns and memory: Issues of ecological validity in the study of children's eyewitness testimony. In R. Fivush & J. Hudson (Eds.). Knowing and remembering in young children., 249-284.

Hewitt, SA. (1994). Preverbal sexual abuse: What two children report in later years. Child Abuse and Neglect, 18(10), 821-826.  

Howes, M, Siegel, M., & Brown, F. (1993). Early childhood memory: Accuracy and affect. Cognition 47 (2), 95-119.
The majority of memory proved accurate and was characterized by distinct emotion, more negative emotions than positive. Claims that infantile memories are powered uniquely by trauma and/or are routinely distorted were not supported.
McLeer, SV, Deblinger, E, & Atkins, MS, et al. (1988). Posttraumatic stress disorder in sexually abused children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 650-654.
48% had symptoms of PTSD. In cases of incest it was 75%. 

Ney, T. (Ed.). (1995). True and false allegations of child sexual abuse: Assessment and case management.New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Chapters all related to children's testimony. Interesting chapters on children's comprehension of truth and falsehood, memory development, and language abilities.

Pfeffer, CR. (1996). Severe stress and mental disturbance in children.Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.  

Pynoos, RS, & Nader, K. (1989). Children's memory and proximity to violence. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(2), 236-241.
133 children studied after a sniper attack on an elementary school. Discusses the role of spatial representation, memory markers, inner plans of action, and strategies of recall in memory process. Does not look at issues of amnesia.

Pynoos, RS & Nader, K. (1990). Children's exposure to violence and traumatic death. Psychiatric Annals, 20(6), 334-344.

Sander, B. & Giolas, MH (1991). Dissociation and childhood trauma in psychologically disturbed adolescence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 50-54.  

Saywitz, KJ, Goodman, GS, Nichols, E, & Moan, SF (1991). Children's memories of a physical examination involving genital touch: Implications for reports of child sexual abuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59(5), 682-691.
72 five- and seven-year-old girls underwent standardized medical exam. For half, the checkup included vaginal and anal exams. For the other half, a scoliosis exam was substituted. Memory was evaluated by free recall, anatomically detailed dolls, prop demonstration, and direct and misleading questions. Majority of children with genital exam revealed vaginal and anal contact only when directly asked. Error regarding vaginal and anal touch were predominantly due to omission. Some children, when directly asked, denied contact. Children in the scoliosis group never falsely reported genital contact in free recall or doll demonstration. Further, with direct questioning, the false report was very rare.

Schwartz, ED, & Perry, BD. (1994). The post traumatic response in children and adolescents. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 17(2), 311-326.  

Terr, L. (1988). What happens to the early memories of trauma? A study of 20 children under the age of five at the time of documented traumatic events. American Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 96-104.
Verbal recall depends on child's age when traumatized and on the chronicity of the trauma. Children under 28-36 months tended to have less verbal memory of their experiences. 

Terr, L (1991). Childhood traumas: An outline and overview. American Journal of Psychiatry, 17, 10-20.
"Verbal recollections of single shocks in an otherwise trauma-free childhood are delivered in an amazingly clear and detailed fashion....Children with Type I disorders seem to remember the event and to give impressively clear, detailed accounts of their experiences." (p. 14). "Children who experience Type II traumas often forget. They may forget whole segments of childhood." (p. 16)


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