The relations among abuse, depression, and adolescents' autobiographical memory

Rebecca J. Johnson, Andrea Follmer Greenhoot, Elizabeth Glisky, Laura A. McCloskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This study examined the relations among early and recent experiences with abuse, depression, and adolescents' autobiographical memory in a longitudinal study of family violence. Participants' (N = 134) exposure to violence was documented when they were 6 to 12 years old and again when they were 12 to 18 years old. The second assessment included measures of depression and autobiographical memory for childhood experiences. Memory problems were more consistently related to current circumstances than childhood abuse history. For instance, depressive symptoms were associated with increased rates of "overgeneral" childhood memories. Recent exposure to family violence predicted more overgeneral memories, shorter memories, and lower rates of negative memories. The patterns suggest that adolescents currently stressed by depression or family violence might strategically avoid the details of past experiences to regulate affect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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