Reported Amnesia for Childhood Abuse and Other Traumatic Events in Psychiatric Inpatients

  • Eve B. Carlson
  • Judith Armstrong
  • Richard Loewenstein
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 291)


By the close of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Recollections of Trauma, it appeared that the first hurdle to reaching consensus over the credibility of reports of delayed memory for sexual abuse had been cleared. As the contents of other chapters in this volume show, there seems to be general agreement that both delayed recall of sexual abuse and false reports of sexual abuse do occur. Controversy remains, however, about the prevalence of amnesia for sexual abuse experiences, the prevalence of reports of recovered memories for sexual abuse that did not occur (so-called false memories), the processes involved in forgetting of sexual abuse experiences, and the accuracy of recovered memories of abuse (see Harvey & Herman, 1994; Lindsay & Read, 1993). To clarify our use of the term amnesia throughout this chapter, we mean a lack of recall of life experiences that one would be expected to recall because of their personal salience.


Sexual Abuse Childhood Abuse Traumatic Event Childhood Sexual Abuse Physical Abuse 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eve B. Carlson
    • 1
  • Judith Armstrong
    • 2
  • Richard Loewenstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Beloit CollegeBeloitUSA
  2. 2.Sheppard Pratt HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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