Posttraumatic nightmares and psychopathology in children after road traffic accidents

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Zurich, Culmannstrasse 8, CH 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.
Journal of Traumatic Stress (Impact Factor: 2.72). 01/2010; 23(2):232-9. DOI: 10.1002/jts.20514
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Posttraumatic nightmares are considered as a reexperiencing symptom of the DSM-IV posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. Different types of posttraumatic nightmares, however, may differ in their relation to psychopathology. Thirty-two children were longitudinally assessed 10 days, 2 months, and 6 months after traffic accidents. Occurrence and characteristics of nightmares were examined and their relation to psychopathology assessed. Thirty-four percent of children reported posttraumatic nightmares during at least one assessment. Exact replicative nightmares at baseline assessment predicted PTSD symptoms 2 and 6 months postaccident, but not depressive symptoms. Exact replicative nightmares revealed the strongest cross-sectional association with trauma-specific psychopathology but not with depression. The authors conclude that posttraumatic nightmares--especially exact replicative ones--may be closely related to psychopathological mechanisms of posttraumatic stress in children.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose To examine the longitudinal relationships between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and sleep problems among adolescent survivors in the Wenchuan earthquake, China. Methods 350 adolescent survivors were randomly selected from several primary and secondary schools in the counties of Wenchuan and Maoxian, the two areas most severely affected by the Wenchuan earthquake. Participants completed Revised Child PTSD Symptom Scale and Sleep Problems Subscale of Self-generated Child Behavior Problems Questionnaire at one year (T1), one-and-a-half years (T2), two years (T3) after the earthquake, respectively. Results There was a bidirectional relationship between intrusive symptom clusters of PTSD and sleep problems from T1 to T2, and this relationship became non-significant from T2 to T3. There was a one-way predictive relationship of avoidance symptom clusters of PTSD onto sleep problems from T1 to T3. The hyperarousal symptom clusters of PTSD had effects on sleep problems from T1 to T2 but not from T2 to T3, while sleep problems have no significant effect on hyperarousal symptom clusters of PTSD from T1 to T3. In addition, the relationships between three symptom clusters of PTSD and sleep problems weakened with time change. Conclusions From 1 year to 1.5 years after the earthquake, all the three symptom clusters of PTSD could be important predictive factors for the development and maintenance of sleep problems, while sleep problems could only be risk factors for the intrusive symptom clusters of PTSD. From 1.5 years to 2 years, only the avoidance symptom clusters of PTSD were risk factors for sleep problems, and sleep problems had no significant effects on any symptom clusters of PTSD. Overall, the relationship between PTSD and sleep problems weakened with time change.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104470. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104470 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The examination of children’s sleep-related mental experiences presents many significant challenges for researchers investigating the developmental trajectories of human dreaming. In contrast to the well-explored developmental patterns of human sleep, data from dream research are strikingly divergent with highly ambiguous results and conclusions, even though there is plenty of indirect evidence suggesting parallel patterns of development between neural maturation and dreaming. Thus results from studies of children’s dreaming are of essential importance not only to enlighten us on the nature and role of dreaming but to also add to our knowledge of consciousness and cognitive and emotional development. This review summarizes research results related to the ontogeny of dreaming: we critically reconsider the field, systematically compare the findings based on different methodologies, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of methods, arguing in favor of methodological pluralism. Since most contradictory results emerge in connection with descriptive as well as content related characteristics of young children’s dreams, we emphasize the importance of carefully selected dream collection methods. In contrast nightmare-related studies yield surprisingly convergent results thus provide strong basis for inferences about the connections between dreaming and cognitive emotional functioning. Potential directions for dream research are discussed, aiming to explore the as yet unraveled correlations between the maturation of neural organization, sleep architecture and dreaming patterns.
    Sleep Medicine Reviews 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.smrv.2014.02.001 · 9.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sleep problems and adaptive functioning were examined in children who were exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Participants included 100 mothers. Forty mothers experienced IPV and were residing in an IPV shelter with their 6- to 13-year-old child. These mothers reported on their experience of IPV in the presence of their child, their psychopathology symptoms, their child’s adaptive functioning, and their child’s sleep problems. Sixty community-based mothers with 6- to 11-year-old children provided reference values for maternal psychopathology and child sleep problems, which were lower than IPV-exposed mothers’ and children’s values, respectively. Two-thirds (63%) of children exposed to IPV (vs. reference value = 45%) had a sleep problem(s). Increased physical and verbal IPV were associated with increased maternal psychopathology, which was associated with increased child sleep problems. IPV-exposed children with sleep problems demonstrated worse adaptive functioning than children without sleep problems; however, differences may be accounted for by maternal psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
    Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy 05/2014; 6(3):290. DOI:10.1037/a0033108 · 0.89 Impact Factor


Available from
May 21, 2014