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Characteristics of memories for traumatic and nontraumatic birth

Crawley, R., Wilkie, S., Gamble, J., Creedy, D. K., Fenwick, J., Cockburn, N. & Ayers, S. (2018). Characteristics of memories for traumatic and nontraumatic birth. Applied Cognitive Psychology, doi: 10.1002/acp.3438

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Abstract

© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Evidence for memory characteristic differences between trauma and other memories in non-clinical samples is inconsistent. However, trauma is frequently confounded with the event recalled. This study compares trauma and nontrauma memories for the same event, childbirth, in a non-clinical sample of 285 women 4-6 weeks after birth. None of the women met diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Traumatic birth, defined by the DSM-5 event criterion, was reported by 100 women. The ratings of some memory characteristics did not differ between memories for traumatic and nontraumatic birth: All were rated highly coherent and central to women's lives, with moderate sensory memory. However, women who experienced traumatic births reported more involuntary recall, reliving, and negative/mixed emotions. Thus, trauma memories differed from nontrauma memories. In this non-clinical sample, this is likely to be due to encoding during trauma rather than the distinctive memory profile for memories retrieved by those experiencing trauma symptoms.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Crawley, R., Wilkie, S., Gamble, J., Creedy, D. K., Fenwick, J., Cockburn, N. & Ayers, S. (2018). Characteristics of memories for traumatic and nontraumatic birth. Applied Cognitive Psychology, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3438. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Publisher Keywords: autobiographical memory, trauma memory, postnatal, birth, post-traumatic stress
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20202

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