vol. 1, num. 1, 2003

Dissociation
Dissociative Phenomena. Questions and Answers.

Editors: Mario Di Fiorino and Maria Luisa Figueira

Clinical, Legal and Scientific Issues Related to Delayed Recall of Childhood Abuse

J. Douglas Bremner

Clinical, Legal and Scientific Issues Related to Delayed Recall of Childhood Abuse

Summary. This article discusses clinical, legal and biological issues related to delayed recall of childhood abuse. Delayed recall of childhood abuse is a controversial topic, with polarization on both sides of the issue. Some claim that childhood abuse is highly prevalent in the United States today, while others claim that therapists and other confounding conditions have led to an over-reporting of abuse. Of particular controversy is delayed recall of abuse, with many authors claiming that memory is subject to distortions, deletions, and other modifications that make long-term recollections of abuse events unreliable. The Author presents several psychological and biological models that provide possible mechanisms of delayed recall of childhood abuse.


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