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A dysphoric's TALE: The relationship between the self-reported functions of autobiographical memory and symptoms of depression

Grace, Lydia; Dewhurst, Stephen A.; Anderson, Rachel J.


Lydia Grace

Dr Rachel Anderson
Reader/Programme Director Psychology PG Research (PhD, MSc by Research, MRes)


Autobiographical memory (AM) is believed to serve self, social and directive functions; however, little is known regarding how this triad of functions operates in depression. Using the Thinking About Life Experiences questionnaire [Bluck, S., & Alea, N. (2011). Crafting the TALE: Construction of a measure to assess the functions of autobiographical remembering. Memory, 19, 470–486.; Bluck, S., Alea, N., Habermas, T., & Rubin, D. C. (2005). A TALE of three functions: The self–reported uses of autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 23, 91–117.], two studies explored the relationship between depressive symptomology and the self-reported frequency and usefulness of AMs for self, social and directive purposes. Study 1 revealed that thinking more frequently but talking less frequently about past life events was significantly associated with higher depression scores. Recalling past events more frequently to maintain self-continuity was also significantly associated with higher depressive symptomology. However, results from Study 2 indicated that higher levels of depression were also significantly associated with less-frequent useful recollections of past life events for self-continuity purposes. Taken together, the findings suggest atypical utilisations of AM to serve self-continuity functions in depression and can be interpreted within the wider context of ruminative thought processes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 20, 2016
Journal Memory
Print ISSN 0965-8211
Electronic ISSN 1464-0686
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 9
Pages 1173-1181
APA6 Citation Grace, L., Dewhurst, S. A., & Anderson, R. J. (2016). A dysphoric's TALE: The relationship between the self-reported functions of autobiographical memory and symptoms of depression. Memory, 24(9), 1173-1181.
Keywords Depression; Self-continuity; Directive; Social; Usefulness; Reminiscence
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2016 University of Hull
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 15/09/2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline...0/09658211.2015.1084009


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