Intrusions, avoidance and overgeneral memory in a non-clinical sample

B.J.A. Hauer*, I. Wessel, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Previous studies have shown a positive relationship between intrusions, effortful avoidance and overgeneral memory in people suffering from (mild) depression or PTSD. The purpose of the present study was to investigate these relationships in a non-clinical sample. As part of a mass testing session, a written version of the Autobiographical Memory Test was administered to 175 first-year psychology students. Furthermore, intrusion and avoidance symptoms were measured with the Impact of Event Scale (Horowitz, Wilner, & Alvarez, 1979), and depressive symptoms with the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961). The data demonstrated a significant correlation between avoidance symptoms and categoric memory to negative cue words. This relationship remained significant after controlling for depressive symptoms. These results concur with other findings that overgeneral memory tends to be related to symptoms of effortful avoidance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-268
JournalClinical Psychology & Psychotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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