Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 284–294 | Cite as

Maladaptive Post-traumatic Cognitions in Interpersonally Traumatized Adolescents with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: An Analysis of “Stuck-Points”

  • Janina BotsfordEmail author
  • Maja Steinbrink
  • Eline Rimane
  • Rita Rosner
  • Regina Steil
  • Babette Renneberg
Original Article


This study investigated maladaptive post-traumatic cognitions, so-called “stuck-points”, from forty-three adolescent survivors of interpersonal traumatization. Thematic content and relationships between stuck-points and trauma characteristics as well as symptom severity were analyzed. Guilt, esteem and trust were the most frequently named themes. Physical abuse was related to stuck-points in the categories trust and control, sexual abuse was related to the categories safety and guilt. Penetration, female sex, an older age at trauma onset and a closer relationship to the perpetrator were related to the category guilt. Injuries through physical violence were related to the category trust. Physical violence and a longer duration of the index trauma were related to a higher number of stuck-points overall. Last, a higher number of stuck-points in the category trust was related to higher post-traumatic stress disorder symptom severity. Therapists should pay attention to these different themes in order to provide the best possible treatment for each patient individually.


Cognitive processing therapy Cognition Interpersonal violence Adolescents 



This study was funded by DLR with the support code: 01KR1204A

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Janina Botsford, Maja Steinbrink, Eline Rimane, Rita Rosner, Regina Steil and Babette Renneberg declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janina Botsford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maja Steinbrink
    • 1
  • Eline Rimane
    • 2
  • Rita Rosner
    • 2
  • Regina Steil
    • 3
  • Babette Renneberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtIngolstadtGermany
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Institute of PsychologyGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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