Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Examined the relationship between trauma and memory specificity and the importance in this of level of support received. METHOD: Fifty-two female undergraduates completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams and Broadbent, 1986), assessing memory specificity and the Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC; Nijenhuis, Van der Hart, and Vanderlinden, 1999), assessing qualitative aspects of trauma. RESULTS: In low-specific students, those who reported emotional abuse were less specific in their memory. The scores of students who had not received any support for the abuse showed a trend towards retrieval of less specific memories, as compared with those who had received support. CONCLUSION: Results provide evidence for an association between trauma (emotional abuse) and reduced memory specificity, and suggest that receiving support following the abuse might protect individuals from developing over-general memory.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





133 - 138


Adolescent, Affect, Autobiography as Topic, Child Abuse, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Surveys and Questionnaires