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Joseph M. Fitzgerald


Rubin's (2006) basic systems model of memory has brought controversy to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research, particularly regarding traumatic event memories in individuals with PTSD. The present study examined differences in symptomology and metacognitive judgments of memories for stressful life experiences as a function of the A1/A2 criteria for PTSD. Qualitative comparisons revealed no measurement differences by A1 or A2 group membership for either symptom severity or metacognitive judgments. Quantitative comparisons revealed that participants meeting the A2 criterion presented with more severe symptoms, as well as higher belief in and greater intensity associated with their stressful memories than those not meeting the A2 criterion. Mediational models suggest indirect effects of the A2 criterion on PTSD symptomology. Additionally, individuals meeting the A1 criterion showed higher levels of belief in stressful memories than those not meeting the A1 criterion. The results of this study may have implications for PTSD diagnosis and treatment.

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