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06-07-2022 | Original Article

Differential Effect of Emotional Stimuli on Performance on Verbal and Facial Priming Tasks and Their Relation to PTSD Symptoms in Girls with Intrafamiliar Sexual Abuse

Auteurs: Araceli Sanz-Martin, Ibza América García-León

Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research

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Abstract

Background

Child sexual abuse (CSA) can generate PTSD and cognitive deficiencies. Studies using priming tasks have reported that adults with PTSD tend to remember threatening events better than pleasant or neutral ones.

Objective

To determine whether girls with CSA present enhanced priming for negative emotional stimuli, and to identify the relationship between PTSD symptomatology and performance on priming tasks with different emotional content.

Method

48 girls (9–16 years old) were evaluated in three groups, each with 14 participants: (a) institutionalized with intrafamily child sexual abuse (CSA); (b) institutionalized without CSA (INS); and (c) non-institutionalized without CSA (NINS). All subjects performed verbal and facial priming tasks with emotional and neutral content.

Results

The CSA group presented enhanced priming for both happy and scared faces compared to the NINS and INS groups. Performance on these faces correlated positively with the intensity of PTSD symptoms. Conversely, on the verbal priming task, that group presented lower performance regardless of the emotional valence of the words. In that case, performance correlated inversely with PTSD symptomatology.

Conclusions

Results suggest that verbal and facial stimuli with emotional valence may have differential effects on girls with a history of CSA. The enhanced priming effect for emotional faces, together with the deficiencies in priming for words could, therefore, be associated with symptoms of re-experiencing in girls with CSA.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Differential Effect of Emotional Stimuli on Performance on Verbal and Facial Priming Tasks and Their Relation to PTSD Symptoms in Girls with Intrafamiliar Sexual Abuse
Auteurs
Araceli Sanz-Martin
Ibza América García-León
Publicatiedatum
06-07-2022
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-022-10313-0