Associations between the Trauma Memory Quality Questionnaire and posttraumatic stress symptoms in youth: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Cognitive models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) propose that trauma memory characteristics are implicated in the etiology of the disorder. Empirical support for cognitive models in youth is necessary to ensure psychological interventions are based on appropriate theory. This meta-analysis was conducted to quantitatively investigate the strength of the associations between self-reported trauma memory characteristics (e.g., sensory and temporal features), measured using the Trauma Memory Quality Questionnaire (TMQQ), and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in children and adolescents. PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PTSDPubs, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global were searched for relevant literature. In total, 11 studies (N = 1,270 participants) met the inclusion criteria for the random-effects meta-analysis. A large effect size was observed for the association between trauma memory characteristics and PTSS, r =.51, 95% CI [.44,.58], and was maintained in subgroup analyses of the prospective association between trauma memory characteristics and later PTSS (k = 5, n = 6 28), r =.51, 95% CI [.42,.59]. A slightly larger effect size was observed in subgroup analyses of the cross-sectional association between trauma memory characteristics and concurrent PTSS (k = 11, N = 1,270), r =.62, 95% CI [.53,.70]. Sensitivity analyses on study quality, TMQQ alteration, chronic trauma exposure, geographical location, and PTSS measure supported the robustness of these results. These findings provide empirical support for the role of trauma memory characteristics in PTSS, congruent with cognitive models, suggesting this theoretical framework is appropriate for youth populations. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online date2 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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