Cognitive functioning and the early development of PTSD

Victoria Bustamante, Thomas A. Mellman, Daniella David, Ana I. Fins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Cross-sectional studies of chronic PTSD reveal deficits in verbal memory. We studied cognitive functioning and its relationship to current and subsequent PTSD severity during an early phase of trauma response. Thirty-eight participants with traumatic injuries and only posttrauma incident psychopathology were evaluated shortly after admission to a Level I Trauma Center. Neuropsychological measures were obtained at baseline and assessment of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders was conducted at baseline and follow-up, 6 weeks later. Significant negative correlations were found for follow-up PTSD severity with delayed recall and retroactive interference. These relationships were not significant for, and were independent of, baseline PTSD severity. Relative deficits in select areas of verbal memory after a trauma may confer greater risk for developing PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-797
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cognitive functioning
  • Memory
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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