A narrative synthesis of the applicability of the CaR-FA-X model in child and adolescent populations: a systematic review

Tracy M. Stewart, Simon C. Hunter, Sinead M. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The CaR-FA-X model (Williams et al., 2007) is the most prominent and comprehensive model of overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) and provides a framework for OGM. The model comprises of three mechanisms, capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and impaired executive control. These can independently, or in interaction, account for OGM. This systematic review aims to evaluate the existing research on the CaR-FA-X model, and trauma exposure studies specific to child and adolescent populations. Methods: The following databases were searched: 'PsychInfo', 'PsychArticles', ‘PubMed’, ‘Web of Science’, ‘Medline’, ‘SCOPUS’ and ‘Embase’ for English-language, peer-reviewed papers with samples < M = 18 years, published since 1986. To account for the possibility of grey literature, six online journal databases ‘OpenGrey’, ‘ProQuest’, ‘Web of Science Conference Proceedings’, ‘Copac’, ‘The British Library’ ‘Zetoc’ and the ‘Centre for Autobiographical Memory Research Conference proceedings’ were also searched. Results: Support was reported for capture errors and trauma exposure as well as interactive effects between rumination and executive control. Limited support was found for rumination, avoidance and impaired executive control in isolation. Conclusions: Partial support for the CaR-FA-X model was found for child and adolescent populations. Recommendations, refinements to the model, and plausible explanations for the mixed findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1190
Number of pages29
Issue number9
Early online date13 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017


  • overgeneral autobiographical memory
  • autobiographical memory specificity
  • CaR-FA-X model
  • children and adolescents

Cite this