However, the central-peripheral distinction is not the only explanation that can potentially resolve these discrepant findings. Brainerd and Reyna's (1991) fuzzy-trace theory (ITT) provides a potentially useful conceptual framework for understanding developmental differences in memory for stressful events. A central notion of FTT is that developmental changes occur in memory for "gist" (relational) and "verbatim" (perceptual) information. Specifically, young children tend to retain information more in verbatim than in gist form. With age, gist memory becomes more prominent. Poole (personal communication, January 1994) has related FTT to children's memory for stressful events. She proposed that stress enhances memory for gist and impairs memory for verbatim information. Although the type of gist (relations) a child can abstract from a situation changes with cognitive development, the basic tendency for stress to help consolidate gist memory and impair verbatim memory would be expected to continue into adulthood.
versus externally directed during a victimization experience (Pynoos, 1992; Yuille & Tollestrup, 1992). Pynoos contended that once penetration occurs, a victim's attention becomes directed at internal sensations. Unfortunately, there is little supporting evidence for this interesting possibility.