Autobiographical memory specificity, intrusive memory, and general memory skills in dutchindonesian survivors of the world war II era.

J.P. Wessel*, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach, T. Dekkers

*Corresponding author for this work

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A lack of specific autobiographical memory may result from exposure to psychological trauma, intrusive memories of adverse events, and/or a general memory deficit. This study explored the role of these variables in 25 patients with various psychiatric diagnoses and 15 healthy controls. All participants had been exposed to war atrocities during their childhood in Indonesia. Patients produced significantly less specific memories than did controls. In addition, rather than performance on general neuropsychological memory tests, the frequent occurrence of intrusive memories and the avoidance of reminders of trauma predicted less autobiographical memory specificity. These results replicate and extend earlier findings on intrusive and nonspecific autobiographical memory in depressed samples to a group of people who experienced war atrocities in childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-234
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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