This study investigated whether overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) predicts the course of depression in adolescents. As part of a larger longitudinal study of risk for emotional disorders, 55 adolescents with a past history of major depressive disorder or minor depressive disorder completed the Autobiographical Memory Test. Fewer specific memories predicted the subsequent onset of a major depressive episode (MDE) over a 16-month follow-up period, even when covarying baseline depressive symptoms. This main effect was qualified by an interaction between specific memories and chronic interpersonal stress: Fewer specific memories predicted greater risk of MDE onset over follow-up at high (but not low) levels of chronic interpersonal stress. Thus, our findings suggest that OGM, in interaction with chronic interpersonal stress, predicts the course of depression among adolescents, and highlight the importance of measuring interpersonal stress in OGM research.
- Autobiographical memory
- Memory specificity
- Stress overgeneral autobiographical memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)