Psychopathology Symptoms, Rumination and Autobiographical Memory Specificity: Do Associations Hold After Bereavement?

Eisma, M. C., Schut, H. A. W., Stroebe, M. S., Voerman, K., van den Bout, J., Stroebe, W. & Boelen, P. A., May-2015, In : Applied Cognitive Psychology. 29, 3, p. 478-484 7 p.

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  • Psychopathology Symptoms, Rumination and Autobiographical Memory

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  • Maarten C. Eisma
  • Henk A. W. Schut
  • Margaret S. Stroebe
  • Kim Voerman
  • Jan van den Bout
  • Wolfgang Stroebe
  • Paul A. Boelen

Symptoms of psychopathology are associated with overgeneral memory retrieval. Overgeneral memory is hypothesized to be the result of an emotion regulatory process, dampening emotional reactions associated with retrieval of distressing specific memories. However, higher post-loss symptom severity has been related to higher specificity of loss-related memories recalled on the Autobiographical Memory Test. This may imply that such memories are immune' to the reduced specificity effect. We aimed to test this idea by investigating, for the first time, associations of depressive and complicated grief symptoms and depressive and grief rumination with autobiographical memory specificity on a sentence-completion task (SCEPT) in a bereaved sample. One hundred ninety-one adult mourners (89% women) filled out questionnaires and the SCEPT. A main finding was that higher depressive and complicated grief symptom and grief rumination levels were associated with reduced specificity of non-loss-related memories but not with specificity of loss-related memories. Implications of these results are discussed. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date13-Mar-2015
Publication statusPublished - May-2015



ID: 20160435