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Journal Article

Citation

Leavitt F. J. Pers. Assess. 2000; 74(2): 311-323.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology, Rush Medical College, USA. fleavitt@rush.edu

Copyright

(Copyright © 2000, Society for Personality Assessment, Publisher Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

10879358

Abstract

Recent research suggests that victimization imagery is chronically accessible in sex-abused populations, which is helpful in distinguishing them from nonabused populations. Eight categories of victimization imagery were selectively activated by Rorschach stimuli. These 8 sex-abuse signs were replicated in a new sample of 36 patients with continuous memory of sex abuse. Classification accuracy was 83%. By contrast, these signs were present in only 4% (5 of 115) of the protocols of nonabused patients. Taken together, the 2 studies confirm reasonably high sensitivity of the 8 signs for sex-abused populations and high specificity for nonabused populations. The 8 signs were also differentially salient for patients who recovered memory of childhood sexual trauma as adults. The Rorschach protocols of 59 of 114 patients with delayed recall of sexual abuse possessed signs of sex abuse. There was no linkage between therapy and recovered-memory cases with and without sex-abuse signs. Emergence of trauma memories was not uniquely traceable to treatment. Memories arose outside of the context of therapy in over 56% of the cases. Implications for the false-memory debate are discussed.


Language: en

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