Guilt and posttraumatic stress symptoms in child victims of interpersonal violence

 
 
Author(s)Kletter, Hilit, Carl F. Weems and Victor G. Carrion
Title Guilt and posttraumatic stress symptoms in child victims of interpersonal violence
Source Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, January 2009, Vol. 14, No 1, pp 71-83
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Summary

This article explores the relationship between guilt and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in children and adolescents who have experienced interpersonal violence. Eighty-seven children aged between 5 and 16 years and were selected for this study. The measures used in the testing included a demographic questionnaire, the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale Child and Adolescent Version and a medical and developmental history form that was completed by the child's caregiver. Analysis of the data showed that nearly half of the participants reported guilt symptoms. Two main types of guilt were identified, guilt over acts of commission or omission and survivor's guilt. Analysis showed that 'guilt over acts' was the most highly associated feature with PTSD symptoms. Also associated with PTSD severity were derealisation and changes in attachment. Clinical implications of the study were considered by the authors, such as identifying the associated features of PTSD and targeting them in treatment for trauma.

Keywords Children; guilt; PTSD; posttraumatic stress disorder; trauma
Topic

Children; Psychological symptoms & treatment