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Traumas affect the short and long term memory of children differently from adults. Some believe childhood trauma may lead to problems in memory storage and retrieval. Severe forms of child sexual abuse are conducive to disturbances of memory such as disassociation or delayed memory. Researchers have argued that there is no support that disassociation shelters people from the pain of memory. There is a consensus among researchers and clinicians that most people that were sexually abused as children remember most of the encounter. (American Psychological Association, 1995).
The issue that relates to Recovered memory versus a pseudomemory continues to have conflicting views. Most leaders agree that it is a rare occurrence that early childhood abuse that has been forgotten can be remembered later. The leaders also agree that it is possible to construct psuedomemories for events that never happened. A growing body of research evidence suggests that psuedomemories of child abuse even though it never happened are both persistent and convincing. (Brainerd & Reyna, 1998).
The issues that relate to the validity of memories of childhood abuse has raised many critical issues for the psychological community. Several issues have not been solved which points to the ideas that many areas of research must still be pursued. Some of them are as follows:
• Need a better understanding of how we store recollections of events in memory both
accurate and inaccurate. (American Psychological Association, 1995).
• Determine which clinical techniques are more likely to lead to the creation of false memories versus those that create conditions where actual events of childhood abuse can be remembered accurately.
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• Research how trauma impacts memory. (American Psychological Association, 1995).
• Are some people more susceptible than others to memory suggestion/alteration and why. (American Psychological Association, 1995).
American Psychology Association (2003, August). Learning & Memory. Retrieved July 31, 2009, from http://www.apa.org/topics
Web site: http://www.apa.org.topics/memories.html
Brainerd, C. J., & Reyna, V.F. (1998). When things that were never experienced are easier to “remember” than things that were. Psychological Science, 9, 484-489