Self-reported parental abuse relates to autobiographical memory style in patients with eating disorders
de Silva, Padmal
Previous research has shown a relationship between levels of self-reported childhood abuse and overgeneral memory style. This relationship was further clarified in patients with an eating disorder (ED). Patients and healthy controls completed a task in which they had to generate specific autobiographical memories to emotional cue words. The results showed that first, the ED group, relative to the controls, produced more first memories that were "overgeneral" and fewer first memories that were specific. Second, in the ED group, the level of self-reported parental abuse was positively correlated with the tendency to produce overgeneral memories to negative cues. This effect remained significant even after levels of depressed mood were controlled for.