The effect of being a victim or witness of family violence on the retrieval of autobiographical memories.
Orbach Y., Lamb ME., Sternberg KJ., Williams JM., Dawud-Noursi S.
OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to determine whether greater reliance on general memory retrieval in children was related to depression, and whether family violence affected the specificity of children's memory retrieval. METHOD: We compared children who had experienced some form of family violence with children who had never experienced any form of family violence, based on their responses to questions concerning child-parent and interparental disagreements. RESULTS: As expected, there was a positive correlation between the extent of "generic-categoric" memory retrieval and depression level. There was no evidence, however, that autobiographical memory was affected by family violence. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to report significant associations between depression and autobiographical memory style in children. The results suggest that the effect of family violence on children's memory retrieval may be mediated by depression.