Dorthe Berntsen

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We introduce a new scale that measures how central an event is to a person's identity and life story. For the most stressful or traumatic event in a person's life, the full 20-item Centrality of Event Scale (CES) and the short 7-item scale are reliable (alpha's of .94 and .88, respectively) in a sample of 707 undergraduates. The scale correlates .38 with(More)
A sample of 1,241 respondents between 20 and 93 years old were asked their age in their happiest, saddest, most traumatic, most important memory, and most recent involuntary memory. For older respondents, there was a clear bump in the 20s for the most important and happiest memories. In contrast, saddest and most traumatic memories showed a monotonically(More)
In the mnemonic model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the current memory of a negative event, not the event itself, determines symptoms. The model is an alternative to the current event-based etiology of PTSD represented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The(More)
Three classes of evidence demonstrate the existence of life scripts, or culturally shared representations of the timing of major transitional life events. First, a reanalysis of earlier studies on age norms shows an increase in the number of transitional events between the ages of 15 and 30 years, and these events are associated with narrower age ranges and(More)
Involuntary autobiographical memories are conscious and unintended recollections of personal experiences. In Study 1, involuntary memories were compared with voluntary word-cued memories, both retrieved in naturalistic settings via a self-paced procedure. The involuntary memories more frequently referred to specific episodes, came with more physical(More)
In three experiments, undergraduates recorded as many details as possible for autobiographical memories of highly positive and highly negative events in their lives. Experiment 1 replicated earlier findings for memories of highly negative events: Central details were recorded more frequently than peripheral details, and a weak correlation was found between(More)
Subjective age--the age people think of themselves asbeing--is measured in a representative Danish sample of 1,470 adults between 20 and 97 years of age through personal, in-home interviews. On the average, adults younger than 25 have older subjective ages, and those older than 25 have younger subjective ages, favoring a lifespan-developmental view over an(More)
One hundred forty-five Danes between 72 and 89 years of age were asked for their memories of their reception of the news of the Danish occupation (April 1940) and liberation (May 1945) and for their most negative and most positive personal memories from World War II. Almost all reported memories for the invasion and liberation. Their answers to factual(More)
In the study reported here, we examined posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in 746 Danish soldiers measured on five occasions before, during, and after deployment to Afghanistan. Using latent class growth analysis, we identified six trajectories of change in PTSD symptoms. Two resilient trajectories had low levels across all five times, and a(More)