Flashbulb memories and posttraumatic stress reactions across the life span: age-related effects of the German occupation of Denmark during World War II.

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2006-03

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Abstract

A representative sample of older Danes were interviewed about experiences from the German occupation of Denmark in World War II. The number of participants with flashbulb memories for the German invasion (1940) and capitulation (1945) increased with participants' age at the time of the events up to age 8. Among participants under 8 years at the time of their most traumatic event, age at the time correlated positively with the current level of posttraumatic stress reactions and the vividness of stressful memories and their centrality to life story and identity. These findings were replicated in Study 2 for self-nominated stressful events sampled from the entire life span using a representative sample of Danes born after 1945. The results are discussed in relation to posttraumatic stress disorder and childhood amnesia.

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10.1037/0882-7974.21.1.127

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Berntsen, Dorthe, and David C Rubin (2006). Flashbulb memories and posttraumatic stress reactions across the life span: age-related effects of the German occupation of Denmark during World War II. Psychol Aging, 21(1). pp. 127–139. 10.1037/0882-7974.21.1.127 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10099.

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Rubin

David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.






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