Autobiographical memory specificity in child sexual abuse victims.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The present study examined the specificity of autobiographical memory in adolescents and adults with versus without child sexual abuse (CSA) histories. Eighty-five participants, approximately half of whom per age group had experienced CSA, were tested on the autobiographical memory interview. Individual difference measures, including those for trauma-related psychopathology, were also administered. Findings revealed developmental differences in the relation between autobiographical memory specificity and CSA. Even with depression statistically controlled, reduced memory specificity in CSA victims relative to controls was observed among adolescents but not among adults. A higher number of posttraumatic stress disorder criteria met predicted more specific childhood memories in participants who reported CSA as their most traumatic life event. These findings contribute to the scientific understanding of childhood trauma and autobiographical memory functioning and underscore the importance of considering the role of age and degree of traumatization within the study of autobiographical memory.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ogle, CM; Block, SD; Harris, LS; Goodman, GS; Pineda, A; Timmer, S; Urquiza, A; Saywitz, KJ

Published Date

  • May 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 321 - 332

PubMed ID

  • 23627947

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3794469

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-2198

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0954-5794

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0954579412001083


  • eng