Deakin University

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Autobiographical Memory Specificity and Detailedness and Their Association with Depression in Early Adolescence

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-09, 02:07 authored by K Lam, T J Barry, David HallfordDavid Hallford, M V Jimeno, N Solano Pinto, J J Ricarte
Previous research with adults has shown mixed findings regarding the correlation between specificity and detailedness within autobiographical memories, and their associations with depressive symptoms. However, minimal research has tested these links in adolescents, despite the importance of this developmental period. The present investigation examined these associations in a sample of young community adolescents in Spain (N = 768; Mage  = 11.04) by replicating methodology of existing studies. Cued recall was measured using the Autobiographical Memory Test and responses were subsequently coded for specificity (whether the memory referred to an event that lasted less than 24 hours) and amount of detail (time, place, sensory-perceptual information, etc.). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Reported Outcomes Measure Information System (PROMIS) measure. Two linear mixed models showed that young adolescents who retrieved more detail recalled a greater number of specific memories and that specific memories included a greater amount of detail than nonspecific memories. However, neither memory specificity nor detail were associated with depressive symptoms. Our findings suggest that, in a population of young adolescents, memory specificity and detail are distinct, but interrelated, constructs. Further longitudinal research should examine whether specificity and detail predict depressive symptoms differentially over the course of adolescence; possible mediators and moderators within this association should also be investigated.



Journal of Cognition and Development





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