ABSTRACT The aim of the present studies was to confirm a relationship among child maltreatment, Picture Completion (PC) test, and posttraumatic symptoms in Japanese maltreated children. In some previous researches, it was found that maltreated children scored higher on the PC test within the Wechsler series subtests. It is hypothesized that the relative higher score of maltreated children may be an indicator of hyperarousal symptoms in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In prior studies, there were some weaknesses on methodology. They had problems with a small sample size and indirect methods to test the hypothesis. In study I, the prior finding was replicated through the same indirect methodology as previous studies, using a larger sample size. The participants were 490 Japanese children (170 maltreated and 320 controls) sampled from the records of Child Guidance Centers in Japan. Results showed that a significant difference was found only for the PC score in all the subtests in the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children third edition (F[1, 487] = 12.6, p < 0.001), replicating the previous finding using a larger sample. In study II, the hypothesis was verified directly using another sample set (40 maltreated). Only the correlation coefficient was significant between the deviated score on the PC test and the subscale of PTSD in Alternative version of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (r = 0.33 for all subtests, p < 0.05; r = 0.38 for performance subtests, p < 0.05). It may be a robust finding that the relative higher performance on PC in maltreated children relates to hyperarousal symptoms in PTSD. The author concludes that the hypothesis in the prior researches was demonstrated through the present two studies.
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