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J Anxiety Disord. 2008;22(3):555-60. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Autobiographical memory and the self-memory system in posttraumatic stress disorder.

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University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


This study investigated the relationship between perceptions of self and retrieval of autobiographical memories in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Civilian trauma survivors with and without PTSD (N=33) provided autobiographical memories in response to positive and negative cue words. Participants also completed a measure of self-image derived from Higgins's [Higgins, E. T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94, 319-340] Selves Questionnaire. Participants with PTSD reported more trauma-focused memories in response to positive cues than non-PTSD participants. Further, retrieval of trauma-focused memories in response to positive cues was strongly associated with perceptions that one's actual self was discrepant from one's ideal self. These findings are discussed in terms of the role of the self-memory system in adjustment to trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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