National Rehabilitation Hospital

An Investigation of the Influence of Impaired Autobiographical and Working Memory on Self-Reconstruction following Acquired Brain Injury

Authors:

Dr. Aisling Lennon, School of Psychology, University College Dublin 

Dr. Jessica Bramham, School of Psychology, University College Dublin

Dr. Àine Carroll, The National Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Jacinta McElligott, The National Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Simone Carton, The National Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Brian Waldron, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

Dr. Donal Fortune, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

Dr. Teresa Burke, School of Psychology, University College Dublin

Prof. Ciaràn Benson, School of Psychology, University College Dublin

Key Words: acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, self, autobiographical memory, working memory

Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the influence of impaired autobiographical and working memory on self-reconstruction following injury as current theoretical understandings of self emphasise these cognitive functions in self processes.

Design: Correlational.

Participants: 23 individuals with ABI, 18 individuals with SCI and 47 controls took part in the study

Instruments: Participants completed measures assessing their self-esteem, self-awareness and mood. Autobiographical and working memory capabilities were also assessed.

Statistics: Correlation and regression analyses were used to examine the relationships between the self, mood and memory variables.

Main outcomes and results: The analyses indicated that personal semantic autobiographical memory and verbal working memory abilities were positively associated with levels of self-esteem. Verbal working memory abilities were also specifically associated with a measure of conflicting self-concept.

Conclusions: The findings are discussed in relation to their theoretical and clinical implications. Recommendations for future research are also considered.

Final Report presented to the NRH Ethics Committee – March 2012