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Title: Cognitive characteristics of children and adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorders
Author: Moradi, Ali Reza
ISNI:       0000 0001 3418 9399
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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Cognitive problems are among the important and common sequelae in child patients with PTSD, for example poor memory, poor concentration, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks (e.g., Yule, &Gold 1993; Last; 1993). In recent years, investigators have started to study these functions in adults with PTSD, but they have yet to be investigated in young people with PTSD. Therefore, following extensive investigations of cognitive processing in adults with anxiety disorder including PTSD, it is proposed to apply some of these paradigms to investigate PTSD in children. Chapter One presents a general introduction describing the background to the work and an outline of the proposed studies. Chapter Two describes the concept of PTSD, phnomenology, classification of PTSD and PTSD in children and finally three noncognitive theories of PTSD. Two basic concepts of cognition i.e. memoiy and attention are described in Chapter Three. Cognitive theories of emotional disorders especially that of Williams et al. (1988) and cognitive models of PTSD are presented. Chapter Four describes how a dictionaiy of emotional words was developed and a list of different types of emotional words was created. In the first experiment in Chapter 5, young people with PTSD, children of adults with PTSD and normal subjects, participated in a colour naming task. The task consisted of 5 categories of words: threat-related depressed-related, trauma-related, positive and neutral words which appeared randomly, one after the other on the screen of a computer in four different colours three times. The results indicated that the PTSD patients had a greater interference toward trauma-related words than other types of words compared to the control group. Children of adults with PTSD showed an attentional bias towards trauma-related and threat-related words. Chapter Six describes a second experiment on attention with children with PTSD. Four types of words -physical threat, social threat, depressed and neutral words- were presented to the subjects one after the other. The subjects were asked to press a buttonwhen they saw a dot on the screen of the computer. The results showed that the PTSD patients shifted their attention towards threat words, while their attention shifted away from depressed words. Chapter Seven describes an investigation on recall and recognition with young people with PTSD and children of adults with PTSD compared with controls. The findings indicated that PTSD patients generally recalled fewer words than controls which confirmed poor memory in young people with PTSD, but both experimental groups did not show any memory bias towards a particular type of emotional words on the recall or recognition task. Chapter Eight compared the findings of PTSD and controls' performance on the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (Wilson ., 1990, RBMT). PTSD patients showed a poor memory performance on this task compared with normal subjects. They particularly had impairment in prospective items (those items which related to the future), story immediate and delayed recall and orientation. A final chapter presents a full discussion of the results of the emprical studies and discusses possible implications for future research. 4
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology