Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a neuropsychological condition caused by exposure to chronic stressors and extreme trauma. In past decades, Colombia (South America) has experienced high levels of armed conflict, which created an environment of chronic stress, resulting in an increased incidence of PTSD in children. Limited research exists on the effects of PTSD on emotional memory functioning of these Colombian youth living in chronically stressful environments. In the present study, 23 PTSD affected youth and 26 controls were asked to recall items from a memorised word list, as well as remembering details from a short emotional story. Although no significant differences were found for word list memory, deficits for emotional story content were found in the PTSD youth, particularly for facts involving negative emotional details. The latter may suggest a deficit in executive functioning for the integration of emotionally laden stimuli, perhaps induced as a by-product of their traumatic experiences.
- Emotional memory
- Violence exposure