Title

Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts and Cognitive Functioning In Kindergarten and Young Elementary School-Age Children Following Hurricane Katrina

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2008

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Seven months after Hurricane Katrina, 183 five- to eight-year-old children were surveyed about their own intrusive thoughts and tested on their level of cognitive functioning (knowledge about the mind and the mind's operations). Basic developmental research suggests that children who lack sufficient knowledge about the mind should have difficulties answering questions about intrusive thoughts. Hurricane-affected children reported relatively more intrusive thoughts with negative content than nonaffected children reported. An association between children's level of understanding of the mind and their ability to report on their own intrusive thoughts supports this hypothesis. Results point to a funneling of intrusive thoughts toward negative content following a traumatic event and highlight the importance of considering children's level of understanding of the mind when investigating intrusive thoughts in young children.

Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

Volume

37

Issue

3

First Page

575

Last Page

587