Meta-analysis of the association between rumination and reduced autobiographical memory specificity

Connie P.Y. Chiu, James W. Griffith, Bert Lenaert, Filip Raes, Dirk Hermans, Tom J. Barry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The CaRFAX model, proposed by Williams J. M. G. (2006. Capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and executive control (CaRFAX): Three processes that underlie overgeneral memory. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 548–568. doi:10.1080/02699930500450465; Williams, J. M. G., Barnhofer, T., Crane, C., Herman, D., Raes, F., Watkins, E., & Dalgleish, T. (2007). Autobiographical memory specificity and emotional disorder. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 122–148. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.122) posits that reduced autobiographical memory specificity, a key factor associated with the emergence and maintenance of emotional disorders, may result from heightened rumination. We provide the first meta-analysis of the relation between autobiographical memory specificity and trait rumination. PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and MEDLINE databases were searched and the following were extracted: the correlation between the number of specific memories recalled in the Autobiographical Memory Test and self-reported trait rumination scores, and its sub-factors–brooding and reflection. The pooled effect size for the correlation between memory specificity and trait rumination was small (d = −.05) and did not differ significantly from zero (p =.09). The effect sizes for the correlation with brooding and reflection were not significantly different from zero. There is limited support for the association between trait rumination and memory specificity suggested in CaRFAX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1334
Number of pages12
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 26 2018


  • Memory
  • depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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