What Happens to Early Memories of Trauma? A Study of Twenty Children Under Age Five at the Time of Documented Traumatic Events

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Compared the verbal and behavioral remembrances of 11 girls and 9 boys who suffered psychic trauma before age 5 yrs with documentations of the same events. Traumas included sexual abuse, injuries, and kidnapping. It was found that the age range 28-36 mo at the time of the trauma served as an approximate cut-off point separating those children who could fully verbalize their past experiences from those who could do so in part or not at all. Girls appeared better able than boys to verbalize parts of traumas from before ages 28-36 mo. Short, single traumas were more likely to be remembered in words. At any age, however, behavioral memories of trauma remained quite accurate and true to the events that stimulated them. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • memory
  • preschool child

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