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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2003 Mar;32(1):166-71.

A prospective test of the association between hyperarousal and emotional numbing in youth with a history of traumatic stress.

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Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.


Investigated the hypothesis that emotional numbing may develop as a result of hyperarousal using a prospective design. Forty-two children between the ages of 7 and 14 with a history of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were assessed with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for Children and Adolescents (CAPS-CA; Nader et al., 1996) and were reassessed 1 year later. Results indicated that hyperarousal symptoms were concurrently positively correlated with emotional numbing at both time points. Moreover, Time 1 hyperarousal symptoms were associated with emotional numbing at Time 2 and predicted Time 2 emotional numbing even when controlling for each of the other symptom clusters of PTSD at Time 1 as well as other concurrent (i.e., Time 2) PTSD symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of the implications of the findings for enhancing the understanding of PTSD symptoms in youth.

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