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Title: Memory specificity in borderline personality disorder: Associations with depression and self-discrepancy
Authors: Van den Broeck, Kris ×
Claes, Laurence
Pieters, Guido
Raes, Filip #
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd.
Series Title: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry vol:43 issue:suppl 1 pages:S51-S59
Abstract: Reduced memory specificity (RMS) is a robust finding in (previously) depressed patients and
patients suffering from posttraumatic symptoms. It has been associated with depression
severity, rumination, and – more recently – with cue content (e.g., cues referring to highly
discrepant self-guides are assumed to hinder specific memory retrieval more likely than cues
that match one’s self-concept). In this study we have investigated the presence of these
relationships in 34 patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). All
participants completed the Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ), the Autobiographical
Memory Test (AMT), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and the Ruminative Response
Scale (RRS). First, it was observed that both rumination and depression severity were
associated with RMS. However, when confounding between rumination and depression
severity was considered using partial correlations, only depression severity was found to be
significantly associated with RMS. Second, in the currently depressed BPD patients (n = 11),
memory specificity was significantly related to cue content suggesting that, at least for
depressed BPD patients RMS is related to the extent to which cues activate highly discrepant
personal domains. Although our data suggest that depression severity as well as current
depression (in interaction with cue content) play an important role in the occurrence of RMS
in BPD, we will discuss that these findings could be moderated by posttraumatic stress and /
or executive functioning.
ISSN: 0005-7916
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Group Psychiatry
Centre for Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology
Clinical Psychology
University Centre Sint Jozef (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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