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Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research 6/2016

14-05-2016 | Original Article

Effects of Childhood Abuse on Overgeneral Autobiographical Memory in Current Major Depressive Disorder

Auteurs: James W. Griffith, Stephan Claes, Titia Hompes, Elske Vrieze, Stefanie Vermote, Elise Debeer, Bert Lenaert, Filip Raes, Dirk Hermans

Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research | Uitgave 6/2016

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Abstract

In a sample of adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder (N = 77), we examined the relationship between overgeneral autobiographical memory and childhood physical and sexual abuse. We hypothesised that childhood abuse would be related to retrieving fewer specific autobiographical memories, even after statistically covarying psychopathology-related variables, including posttraumatic stress disorder and depression severity. Our hypotheses were supported for childhood physical abuse but not for childhood sexual abuse. Childhood physical abuse was related to the recall of fewer specific memories on the Autobiographical Memory Test. No significant association, however, emerged between the Autobiographical Memory Test and childhood sexual trauma. Directions for future research include prospective designs as well as further examination of trauma characteristics (e.g., age of onset) and means by which individuals cope with trauma.
Voetnoten
1
We also conducted some alternative analyses to ensure the robustness of this regression. We choose to enter childhood physical and sexual abuse on Step 1 of the regression to show test their effects uncomplicated by the other covariates, but it should be stressed that the final regression model presented in Table 2 shows the unique effects of childhood physical and sexual abuse above and beyond the other covariates. We verified this by rerunning the regression with childhood sexual and physical abuse on the last step. Doing the regression in this way leaves the results absolutely unchanged; the ΔR 2 for childhood sexual and physical abuse entered on the last step was .08 in this model, indicating that these two dichotomous variables accounted for 8 % of the variance beyond the other five covariates, p = .046. For the final model, the values for B, SE (B), and β statistics were all exactly as reported in Table 2, as would be expected.
We also ran the regression shown in Table 2 also including age at depression onset as an additional covariate in Step 3 of the regression along with the number of depressive episodes, as well as gender as an additional covariate in the final step of the model. We did not present this as the primary regression because the ratio of cases to parameters would drop to less than 10, and two cases would need to be excluded due to missing data on age of onset (N = 75). The results for childhood physical abuse were nevertheless unchanged in this model—It was still a significant predictor of fewer specific memories in the final model including all of the other covariates. Thus, the final interpretation of the data would remain absolutely unchanged.
Finally, we examined bivariate associations between the number of specific memories abuse variables. The correlation was only significant for childhood physical abuse, r = −.27, p = .019; for childhood sexual abuse, the correlation was r = .06, p = .62, ns.
 
2
Our trauma interview contained some individual items that could speak to these questions in a future, larger sample. Unfortunately our sample sizes for participants with a history of abuse were too small to conduct analyses within only these individuals. Future studies along these lines would need to be large enough for sufficient variability of abuse characteristics to determine which characteristics are reliably related to overgeneral memory.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Effects of Childhood Abuse on Overgeneral Autobiographical Memory in Current Major Depressive Disorder
Auteurs
James W. Griffith
Stephan Claes
Titia Hompes
Elske Vrieze
Stefanie Vermote
Elise Debeer
Bert Lenaert
Filip Raes
Dirk Hermans
Publicatiedatum
14-05-2016
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Cognitive Therapy and Research / Uitgave 6/2016
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-016-9784-y

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