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Online Short Courses

Effects of age, dysphoria, and emotion-focusing on autobiographical memory specificity in children

Author(s): L. E. Drummond, B. Dritschel, A. Astell, R. E. O'Carroll, T. Dalgleish

Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is strongly associated with depression in adults and appears to reflect a stable cognitive bias. However, it is not known whether this bias exist in children or what factors contribute to its development. We examined the roles of age, dyshoria, and a new variable, emotion-focusing (EF), on the production of specificautobiographical memory (AM) in children, using the standard Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986). Results show that older children are more specific than younger children, irrespective of cue valence. Dysphoria was linked to less specific retrieval of positive memories in children. A three-way interaction between age, valence, and dysphoria was also found, such that older dysphoric children demonstrated a difficulty in retrieving specific negative memories. In addition, emotion-focusing was associated with specific AM recall, especially to negative cues. Results are discussed with reference to the development of depressogenic biases.

Full version: Available here

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ISBN: 0269-9931
Publication Year: 2006
Periodical: Cognition & Emotion
Periodical Number: 3-4
Volume: 20
Pages: 488-505
Author Address: