A 4-year follow-up study of 25 school-bus kidnapping victims and one
child who narrowly missed the experience revealed that every child
exhibited posttraumatic effects. Symptom severity was related to the
child's prior vulnerabilities, family pathology, and community bonding.
Important new findings included pessimism about the future, belief in omens
and prediction, memories of incorrect perceptions, thought suppression,
shame, fear of reexperiencing traumatic anxiety, trauma- specific and
mundane fears, posttraumatic play, behavioral reenactment, repetitions of
psychophysiological disturbances that began with the kidnapping, repeated
nightmares, and dreams of personal death. Brief treatment 5-13 months after
the kidnapping did not prevent symptoms and signs 4 years later.