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Autobiographical memory and suggestibility in children with autism spectrum disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2007

MAGGIE BRUCK
Affiliation:
Johns Hopkins University
KAMALA LONDON
Affiliation:
University of Toledo
REBECCA LANDA
Affiliation:
Kennedy Krieger Institute
JUNE GOODMAN
Affiliation:
Kennedy Krieger Institute

Abstract

Two paradigms were developed to examine autobiographical memory (ABM) and suggestibility in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with ASD (N = 30) and typically developing chronological age-matched children (N = 38) ranging in age from 5 to 10 years were administered an ABM questionnaire. Children were asked about details of current and past personally experienced events. Children also participated in a staged event, and later were provided with true and false reminders about that event. Later, children again were interviewed about the staged event. The results from both paradigms revealed that children with ASD showed poorer ABM compared to controls. Generally, their ABM was marked by errors of omission rather than by errors of commission, and memory was particularly poor for early-life events. In addition, they were as suggestible as the typically developing children. The results are discussed in terms of applied and theoretical implications.This project was supported by a grant from National Institutes of Health (RO1 HD39282) to M.B. Thanks to the many children, parents, teachers, and school staff who took time and interest in participating in this study. The assistance of Kendra Tannenbaum, Jennifer Betkowski, Katie Whittaker, and Liz Marave is greatly appreciated.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2007 Cambridge University Press

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