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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1997 Oct;65(5):811-20.

Traumatic events: prevalence and delayed recall in the general population.

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Department of Psychiatry, Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Torrance 90509, USA.


A random sample of 724 individuals across the United States were mailed a questionnaire containing demographic information, an abridged version of the Traumatic Events Survey (D. M. Elliott, 1992), and questions regarding memory for traumatic events. Of these, 505 (70%) completed the survey. Among respondents who reported some form of trauma (72%), delayed recall of the event was reported by 32%. This phenomenon was most common among individuals who observed the murder or suicide of a family member, sexual abuse survivors, and combat veterans. The severity of the trauma was predictive of memory status, but demographic variables were not. The most commonly reported trigger to recall of the trauma was some form of media presentation (i.e., television show, movie), whereas psychotherapy was the least commonly reported trigger.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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