Early autobiography memory specificity, depression and trauma in older adults

Hayes, Ashli H. (2017) Early autobiography memory specificity, depression and trauma in older adults. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The overgeneral memory (OGM) bias, that is, the reduced tendency to produce specific memories, has been shown to be related to affective symptoms in adults across the age range. Specifically, OGM has been shown to be related to both current and past depression as well as trauma-related disorders. There has been a paucity of research concerning the OGM bias in older adults, and the current study aimed to address this gap in the literature. In addition, early memory has been shown to be important to psychological functioning in terms of the development of the life story, goal-directed behaviours and problem solving. This facet of memory has not yet been investigated in the context of the OGM bias in older adults. Thus, this represents another important gap addressed by the current study, which investigated the relationship between early OGM, as measured by the early Memory Fluency Task and the earliest Detailed Memory Task, and the following clinical variables in a sample of community-dwelling older adults between the ages of 50 and 75 years (N = 72): cognitive functioning (MoCA), current depressive symptoms (BDI-II), lifetime history of depression (SCID-IV-Current and Past Major Depressive Episodes), history of trauma (THQ), current trauma symptoms (IES-R) and general psychopathology (BSI). The results of the current study suggest that earliest OGM is related to lower levels of cognitive functioning, as well as higher number of past experienced traumatic events and a history of Major Depressive episodes. This study also has implications for categorization of OGM. The implications of relevant findings are discussed in terms of future OGM research and clinical applications.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12722
Item ID: 12722
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 94-110).
Keywords: Overgeneral Memory, Early Autobiographical Memory, Autobiographical Memory Specificity, Depression, Trauma, Older Adults
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Autobiographical memory; Early memories -- Psychological aspects; Psychic trauma; Depression, Mental; Recollection (Psychology)

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