The present study aimed to assess the effects of age and PTSD on the narrative fragmentation in memories for child sexual abuse. Lexical complexity, cohesion and coherence were analyzed within a group of 86 allegations of children (M = 10 years; SD = 3.7; range: 4-17) who were victims of sexual abuse. Results illustrated that age played an important role in establishing narrative coherence and predicted the level of orientation, the sequence of events and the level of evaluation of the event. Instead, PTSD was related to narrative coherence and cohesion. Therefore, in children, the narrative fragmentation could be an effective diagnostic tool for understanding the effects of PTSD. Moreover in a legal setting the traumatic effects of PTSD on the narrative coherence and cohesion could be significant indices in the evaluation of child testimony.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- abuso sessuale infantile
- child sexual abuse