Journal article

Distant Memories: A Prospective Study of Vantage Point of Trauma Memories

Lucy M Kenny, Richard A Bryant, Derrick Silove, Mark Creamer, Meaghan O'Donnell, Alexander C McFarlane

PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2009

Abstract

Adopting an observer perspective to recall trauma memories may function as a form of avoidance that maintains posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We conducted a prospective study to analyze the relationship between memory vantage point and PTSD symptoms. Participants (N= 947) identified the vantage point of their trauma memory and reported PTSD symptoms within 4 weeks of the trauma; 730 participants repeated this process 12 months later. Initially recalling the trauma from an observer vantage point was related to more severe PTSD symptoms at that time and 12 months later. Shifting from a field to an observer perspective a year after trauma was associated with greater PTSD severity at 12 mo..

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