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Title: Overgeneral autobiographical memory and experiential avoidance in post-traumatic stress disorder and depression
Author: Stewart, Rose
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2013
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Major Issues A tendency for individuals with depression to exhibit overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) has been consistently observed in the literature for almost thirty years, yet evidence for the specific mechanisms behind this link is lacking. Less established is the link between OGM and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has gained inconsistent support in the research literature. Methods A literature review was conducted to investigate the association between OGM and PTSD, employing a systematic search strategy and meta-analysis techniques. Online recruitment and data collection methods were implemented as part of a research study to gather information on OGM, experiential avoidance (and sub-types thereof) and depressive symptoms in 399 participants. Data was analysed using a multiple mediational model employing bootstrapping. Findings The literature review and meta-analysis revealed a large and significant association between OGM and PTSD, however evidence for a correlational or causal relationship was inconclusive. Limitations of reviewed research evidence were noted and it appears that wide variation in approaches taken towards experimental design and analysis significantly weakens research quality in the area. The research paper suggests that experiential avoidance partially mediates the relationship between OGM and depression, and that there is a specific mediating role for a sub-type of experiential avoidance; Repression and Denial. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research, theory and implications for clinical practice. Conclusion The findings of the literature review and research paper indicate that there is an association between OGM and both depression and PTSD. More specifically there is evidence for a mediational role for experiential avoidance in the form repr~ssion and denial in the relationship between OGM and depression. More robust longitudinal research is required to establish any causal relationship between OGM and PTSD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available