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J Trauma Stress. 1999 Jul;12(3):527-34.

Memory functioning in adult women traumatized by childhood sexual abuse.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego 92093-0985, USA.

Abstract

Memory impairment has been reported in some studies of patients with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in rape victims with PTSD. The authors tested whether explicit memory impairment was evident in adult women who were traumatized by severe sexual abuse in childhood. The California Verbal Learning Test (Delis, Kramer, Kaplan, & Ober, 1987) and the Benton Visual Retention Task (Benton, 1974), were administered to 22 female adult survivors of childhood sexual trauma and to 20 demographically and educationally similar nonvictimized women. No evidence was found of explicit memory impairment in the abuse survivors. Furthermore, neither PTSD severity, dissociative symptom severity, nor extent of preexisting amnesia for childhood trauma contributed to the variance in memory functioning. Additional studies are needed to determine the extent to which impaired explicit memory functioning is a common feature of posttraumatic stress syndromes.

PMID:
10467560
DOI:
10.1023/A:1024775222098
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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