Forgetting of trauma cues in adults reporting continuous or recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse.

Abstract

According to betrayal trauma theory, adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) who were molested by their caretakers (e.g., a father) are especially likely to dissociate ("repress") their memories of abuse. Testing college students, some reporting CSA, DePrince and Freyd (2004) found that those scoring high on a dissociation questionnaire exhibited memory deficits for trauma words when they viewed these words under divided-attention conditions. Replicating DePrince and Freyd's procedure, we tested for memory deficits for trauma words relative to neutral words in adults reporting either continuous or recovered memories of CSA versus adults denying a history of CSA. A memory deficit for trauma words under divided attention was expected in the recovered-memory group. Results were inconsistent with this prediction, as all three groups exhibited better recall of trauma words than neutral words, irrespective of encoding conditions.

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@article{Mcnally2005ForgettingOT, title={Forgetting of trauma cues in adults reporting continuous or recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse.}, author={R J Mcnally and Carel S Ristuccia and Carol A Perlman}, journal={Psychological science}, year={2005}, volume={16 4}, pages={336-40} }