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.
Children; Psychological symptoms & treatment