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10-05-2015 | Uitgave 8/2015

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 8/2015

A Community Study on the Relationship of Posttraumatic Cognitions to Internalizing and Externalizing Psychopathology in Taiwanese Children and Adolescents

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 8/2015
Shu-Tsen Liu, Sue-Huei Chen


A growing number of studies indicate that posttraumatic cognitions play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the effects of posttraumatic cognitions on general psychopathology beyond PTSD remain unclear. The current study aimed to validate the Chinese version of the Child Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (CPTCI-C) and to investigate the relationship between posttraumatic cognitions and psychopathology. A community sample of 285 school-aged children and adolescents (aged 9–17, 160 [56.1 %] female) reported their trauma-related cognitions on the CPTCI-C and completed measures of symptoms of PTSD, depression, and generalized anxiety. Parents reported their children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. We validated a revised version of the CPTCI-C based on the results of confirmatory factor analyses. The resulting evidence suggests that this revised CPTCI-C possesses good internal consistency, fair 6-week temporal stability, and good concurrent validity. In addition to significant correlations between posttraumatic cognitions and internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, after controlling for age, gender, and trauma types, both the revised CPTCI-C subscale scores conveyed unique contributions to psychological distress while only the maladaptive appraisals of the trauma remained weakly associated with externalizing problems. Structural equation modeling analysis showed that maladaptive appraisals of the trauma had a direct longitudinal impact on chronic PTSD severity. No mediation effect of posttraumatic cognitions on the relationship between acute and chronic PTSD activity was observed. The implications of our findings are discussed for the specificity of posttraumatic cognitions to posttraumatic internalizing psychopathology and cognitive interventions that target negative trauma-related cognitions.

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