Author(s): Ricarte JJ, Latorre JM, Ros L, Navarro B, Aguilar MJ, , Ricarte JJ, Latorre JM, Ros L, Navarro B, Aguilar MJ,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: This research aims to investigate the characteristics of autobiographical retrieval in a group of older depressed adults compared with a control group of the same age. METHOD: The sample was recruited from local primary care services. All participants were administered a demographic questionnaire and completed the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE; Lobo, A., Ezquerra, J., Gómez-Burgada, F., Sala, J.M., & Seva-Díaz, A. (1979). El Mini-Examen Cognoscitivo: Un test sencillo y práctico para detectar alteraciones intelectuales en pacientes médicos. Actas Luso-Españolas de Neurología, Psiquiatría y Ciencia, 3, 189-202), the Life Satisfaction Index (LSI; Stock, W., Okun, M., & Gómez, J. (1994). Subjective well-being measures: Reliability and validity among Spanish elders. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 38, 221-235), and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS; Beck, A.T., Weissman, A., Lester, D., & Trexler, L. (1974). The measurement of pessimism: The hopelessness scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 861-865). Finally, all participants completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams, J.M.G., & Broadbent, K. (1986). Autobiographical memory in suicide attempters. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 144-149). RESULTS: Older adults with depression were less specific in their memories than the controls. Higher categoric retrieval for negative cue words compared with positive cue words was only found for older adults with depression. Specific retrieval in the group without depression was positively related to Life Satisfaction and negatively to hopelessness. CONCLUSION: The overgeneral effect appeared for older adults with depression due to the higher presence of extended memories (events lasting for more than 24 h) rather than categoric retrievals (summary of repeated events). The strong correlation between specific memories and Life Satisfaction among non-depressed older adults suggests its potential role as a protective factor for depression.
This article was published in Aging Ment Health
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior