Preliminary evidence for a relationship between prospective memory and PTSD symptoms in the general population

Taylor L. Swain, Melanie K.T. Takarangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: PTSD sufferers often have problems with remembering the past, but do they also have trouble remembering tasks to be completed in the future? We argue characteristics of PTSD—such as negative appraisals and maladaptive strategies—might contribute to biased reporting of prospective memory failures among PTSD sufferers—or people with severe PTSD symptoms—within a general population. Methods: Mechanical Turk participants completed a questionnaire battery measuring self-report prospective memory, PTSD symptoms, negative appraisals and maladaptive strategies (e.g., suppression), and depression, anxiety and stress symptoms. Results: PTSD symptom severity positively correlated with self-report prospective memory failures (rs = .42–49). PTSD symptoms affected self-report prospective memory via their influence on negative appraisals and maladaptive strategies. Limitations: Our findings rely on self-report, therefore we do not know if this relationship generalizes to objective prospective memory tasks. Conclusions: Our data provide preliminary evidence for a relationship between PTSD symptomatology and subjective prospective memory in the general population and suggest that the negative appraisals and maladaptive strategies that commonly accompany PTSD might underpin this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102325
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume77
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Prospective memory
  • PTSD
  • Trauma

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