A prospective investigation of rumination and executive control processes in predicting overgeneral memory recall in adolescence

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

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The CaR-FA-X model (Williams et al., 2007), or capture and rumination (CaR), functional avoidance (FA) and impaired executive control (X), is a model of overgeneral autobiographical memory. Two mechanisms of the model, rumination and executive control were examined in isolation and in interaction to investigate overgeneral autobiographical memory over time. Method: Across two time points, six months apart, a total of 149 adolescents (13-16 years) completed a minimal instruction autobiographical memory test, a measure of executive control with emotional and non-emotional stimuli, and measures of brooding rumination and reflective pondering. Results: It was found that executive control for emotional information was negatively associated with OGM, but only when reflective pondering levels were high. Conclusion: In the context of higher levels of reflective pondering, greater switch costs (i.e. lower executive control) when processing emotional information predict a decrease in OGM over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-496
Number of pages15
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • overgeneral autobiographical memory
  • adolescence
  • rumination
  • executive control
  • emotion

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