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.
- Childhood trauma
- Major depressive disorder
- Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM)
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology