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Investigating the relationships between autobiographical remembering, the self and posttraumatic stress disorder in individuals with HIV

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A bidirectional relationship is proposed between the self and memory whereby autobiographical memories develop, express and maintain the self and the self implements control over autobiographical remembering (Conway, 2005). The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between self-concept, autobiographical remembering and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD) in individuals with HIV living in Iran. Participants were individuals with HIV (n = 61) and healthy nontrauma-exposed controls (n = 59). Participants completed Farsi versions of the Autobiographical Memory Test, Autobiographical Memory Interview, the “I AM” task and the Impact of Event–Revised. It was found that the HIV group provided fewer specific memories, had reduced semantic and episodic recall and provided fewer self-statements than the control group. Reduced autobiographical memory specificity was significantly correlated with recalling fewer self-statements and deficits in episodic memory mediated the relationship between group and fewer self-statements provided. Finally, proportion of HIV-themed self-statements correlated significantly with reduced memory specificity when age and education were included as covariates. The findings are discussed in regards to current psychological models of self and memory.
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Keywords: Autobiographical memory; HIV; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Self

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran 2: Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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