Predictors of Accurate and Inaccurate Memories of Traumatic Events Experienced in Childhood

Consciousness and Cognition 3 (3-4):269-294 (1994)
How likely is it that traumatic childhood events are misremembered or forgotten? Research on children′s recollections of painful or frightening medical procedures may help answer this question by identifying predictors of accurate versus inaccurate memory. In the present study, 46 3- to 10-year-old children were interviewed after undergoing a stressful medical procedure involving urethral catheterization. Age differences in memory emerged, especially when comparing 3- to 4-year-olds with older children. Children′s understanding of the event, parental communication and emotional support, and children′s own emotional reactions also predicted accuracy. Memory did not reliably vary for children who endured the medical procedure once versus multiple times. Results are discussed in relation to possible precursors of accurate and false memories, and forgetting, of traumatic events experienced in childhood
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DOI 10.1006/ccog.1994.1016
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