Child Maltreatment and Memory

Posted: 4 Jun 2010  

Gail S. Goodman

University of California, Davis

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Christin M. Ogle

University of California, Davis

Date Written: January 2010

Abstract

Exposure to childhood trauma, especially child maltreatment, has important implications for memory of emotionally distressing experiences. These implications stem from cognitive, socio-emotional, mental health, and neurobiological consequences of maltreatment and can be at least partially explained by current theories concerning the effects of childhood trauma. In this review, two main hypotheses are advanced: (a) Maltreatment in childhood is associated with especially robust memory for emotionally distressing material in many individuals, but (b) maltreatment can impair memory for such material in individuals who defensively avoid it. Support for these hypotheses comes from research on child abuse victims' memory and suggestibility regarding distressing but nonabusive events, memory for child abuse itself, and autobiographical memory. However, more direct investigations are needed to test precisely when and how childhood trauma affects memory for emotionally significant, distressing experiences. Legal implications and future directions are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Goodman, Gail S. and Quas, Jodi and Ogle, Christin M., Child Maltreatment and Memory (January 2010). Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 61, pp. 325-351, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1601144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100403

Gail S. Goodman (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society ( email )

2340 Social Ecology 2, RM
Irvine, CA 92697

Christin M. Ogle

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
490