Autobiographical memory in severely traumatized refugees: association of PTSD and depression with overgeneral memory
MetadataShow full item record
Due to common comorbidities such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), refugees have an increased risk for developing cognitive strategies in the retrieval process that can lead to overgenerality in memories. The present study examined the role of PTSD and depression in overgeneral autobiographical memory in refugees. Twenty-two severely traumatized patients completed a trauma questionnaire (PTSD Checklist for DSM-5), a depression measurement (Brief Symptom Inventory), and an autobiographical memory test (Autobiographical Memory Test). Results showed that neither PTSD nor depression had an association with overgeneral memory. On the contrary, there was a trend that showed PTSD was positively associated with specific answers. An association between the negative cognition and mood subscale of the PTSD Checklist and overgenerality was found. There was no difference in overgenerality in the range of cue words. Possible accounts of these findings are suggested. Overall, patients in the present study showed more overgeneral memory and high psychological complaints compared to previous study samples. These results suggest that training for memory specificity is needed. A control group was missing which limits the possibility to draw firm conclusions and a possible malingering of symptoms is taken into account. Furthermore, findings show that there must be more research on the new subscale of negative cognition and mood and why it is associated with memory specificity.