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Title: Theoretical underpinnings of overgeneral autobiographical memory and the relationship between rumination and executive control in adolescence
Author: Stewart, Tracy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 1832
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2016
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Introduction: This thesis examined the theoretical underpinnings of overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) and the directional relationship between rumination and executive control at a time associated with heightened risk of depression. Specific attention was given to the subcomponents of rumination (brooding rumination and reflective pondering) and executive control when processing emotional and non-emotional information in an attempt to explain inconsistent findings in the literature. Providing insight into the developmental processes involved in autobiographical memory may help explain how OGM develops and is maintained. Method: Three studies entailing a mixed methods design formulated the methodology in this thesis and included: a systematic review of the CaR-FA-X model specific to child and adolescent populations and quantitative prospective research studies with school based adolescent samples. Results: Partial support was found for the CaR-FA-X model through the systematic review: strong support was found for capture errors and trauma exposure as well as interactive effects between rumination and executive control. Importantly, the mechanisms of the model manifest themselves differently depending on the clinical status of populations. The quantitative studies conducted with adolescents in community settings revealed that high levels of reflective pondering moderated the relationship between executive control for emotional information and OGM. Lower executive control when processing emotional material (reflected by larger switch costs) predicted less OGM, but only when reflective pondering levels were high. Lastly, findings indicated that rumination preceded executive control and demonstrated that reflective pondering was predictive of greater executive control (reflected by lower switch costs) for emotional information over time. Results were independent of age, gender and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Conclusions: Partial support for the CaR-FA-X model was found for child and adolescent populations, and findings highlighted important moderating factors. Reflective pondering may serve as a protective factor against OGM and lower levels of executive control when processing emotional information. Recommendations, refinements to theoretical models, implications and limitations are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available