Depth-of-processing and trauma-induced memory bias in survivors of burn injuries

Marks, Stephen (2006) Depth-of-processing and trauma-induced memory bias in survivors of burn injuries. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 10754012.pdf] PDF
Download (8MB)


Objective: This study investigated potential memory biases associated with traumarelated material in burns survivors. Design: A quasi-experimental, between-group design was employed. Method: Thirteen bum-injured participants with variable levels of posttraumatic symptoms were compared with fifteen control individuals, in their recall of neutral prose and bum-related trauma passages. Results: Control participants had superior overall recall relative to bums participants, after controlling for potentially confounding factors. Both groups had equivalent but non-significant recall biases towards trauma material. Subsequent analyses involved visual inspection of means for three subgroups constructed using the median IES-R score for the bum-injured group. Overall recall appeared to be weaker for high symptomatic burns survivors compared to low-symptomatic burns participants. Biases towards trauma material appeared to be smallest in low-symptomatic burns survivors and greatest in high-symptomatic burns participants, with intermediate bias levels for low-symptomatic controls. Conclusions: Self-report ratings of salience and transient stress responses in burns survivors indicated that the prose-based paradigm is suitable for investigations involving trauma survivors. Findings relating to overall recall could be due to general memory deficits in bums survivors associated in part with posttraumatic stress symptoms. Contrary to expectations, there was no evidence of an explicit memory bias against trauma material in bums survivors. Indeed response patterns suggested biases in the opposite direction in high-symptomatic bums participants. This was more consistent with intrusive encoding or dual representation models rather than a vigilance-avoidance model. A memory bias against trauma material in lowsymptomatic bums survivors relative to other subgroups was not significant but could be consistent with dual representation theory. The ecological validity of the study, other methodological issues, potential clinical implications, and recommendations regarding future research are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Mhairi McMillan
Keywords: Clinical psychology
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-74100
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year