Dissociation : Vol. 9, No. 4, p. 261-273 : Memory recovery of childhood sexual abuse

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Title: Dissociation : Vol. 9, No. 4, p. 261-273 : Memory recovery of childhood sexual abuse
Author: Albach, Francine, 1951-; Moormann, Peter Paul, 1949-; Bermond, Bob
Abstract: In this study, no empirical evidence was found for the notion that most patients recover memories of childhood sexual abuse because their therapist had suggested to them that they were abused as children. Instead, our data seem to suggest that memory recovery is a spontaneous phenomenon, triggered by abuse-related stimuli. The issue of traumatic versus ordinary memories was investigated by comparing a group of 97 sexually abused women with a group of 65 matched controls for memory impairments. Having experienced an episode of inability to recall the event (i.e., amnesia) appeared to be extremely rare (1 %) in the control group, but rather common (35 %) in the traumatized group. Other features of motivated forgetting, like intentionally avoiding to think about the event, just not having thought about it, and having experienced an amnestic turning point were significantly more frequently mentioned by the traumatized than by the control group as well. Characteristics of the abuse, such as early age or violence, did not appear to be predictive of abuse-related amnesia. However, an inverse relation was found between prolonged sexual abuse (extending into adulthood) and amnesia. Women who initially consented to the abuse to get attention from the perpetrator were found to be more amnestic.
Description: p. 261-273
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/1774
Date: 1996-12


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