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Meta-analysis of the association between rumination and reduced autobiographical memory specificity

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The CaRFAX model, proposed by Williams J. M. G. (2006. Capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and executive control (CaRFAX): Three processes that underlie overgeneral memory. Cognition and Emotion, 20, 548–568. doi:10.1080/02699930500450465; Williams, J. M. G., Barnhofer, T., Crane, C., Herman, D., Raes, F., Watkins, E., & Dalgleish, T. (2007). Autobiographical memory specificity and emotional disorder. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 122–148. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.122) posits that reduced autobiographical memory specificity, a key factor associated with the emergence and maintenance of emotional disorders, may result from heightened rumination. We provide the first meta-analysis of the relation between autobiographical memory specificity and trait rumination. PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and MEDLINE databases were searched and the following were extracted: the correlation between the number of specific memories recalled in the Autobiographical Memory Test and self-reported trait rumination scores, and its sub-factors – brooding and reflection. The pooled effect size for the correlation between memory specificity and trait rumination was small (d = −.05) and did not differ significantly from zero (p = .09). The effect sizes for the correlation with brooding and reflection were not significantly different from zero. There is limited support for the association between trait rumination and memory specificity suggested in CaRFAX.
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Keywords: Memory; depression; post-traumatic stress disorder; rumination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Experimental Psychopathology Lab, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong 2: Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA 3: School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands 4: Centre for Learning Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Publication date: November 26, 2018

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