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.
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