Autobiographical memory specificity in adults reporting repressed, recovered, or continuous memories of childhood sexual abuse

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Cognition and Emotion (Impact Factor: 2.52). 01/1970; 20(3-4):527-535. DOI: 10.1080/02699930500342779

ABSTRACT Some psychotherapists believe that adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are characterised by memory deficits for their childhood. Using the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), we asked nonabused control participants and participants who reported either continuous, recovered, or repressed memories of CSA to retrieve a specific personal memory in response to either positive or negative cue words from either childhood or adolescence/adulthood. The results indicated that participants who believed they harboured repressed memories of abuse tended to exhibit the greatest difficulty retrieving specific memories from their childhood. Neither posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) nor major depression was related to diminished memory specificity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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