Guilt and posttraumatic stress symptoms in child victims of interpersonal violence.Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2009 Jan; 14(1):71-83.CC
Our objective was to examine the relationship between guilt and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in children with a history of interpersonal violence. Eighty-seven children between the ages of 5 and 16 years (mean age = 11.70 years) were administered the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for Children and Adolescents to assess for PTSD symptoms and associated features. Multiple regression analysis found that guilt over acts of commission or omission (behaviors the child performed or failed to perform during the event or to prevent it) was highly associated with PTSD severity. Derealization and changes in attachment were also significantly related to PTSD symptoms. Findings suggest that it may be important for clinicians to assess for associated features in traumatized children as these are associated with greater PTSD severity. Posttraumatic interventions may benefit from targeting these symptoms.