Declining autobiographical memory and the loss of identity: Effects on well-being

Jetten, Jolanda, Haslam, Catherine, Pugliese, Cara, Tonks, James and Haslam, S. Alexander (2010) Declining autobiographical memory and the loss of identity: Effects on well-being. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32 4: 408-416. doi:10.1080/13803390903140603

Author Jetten, Jolanda
Haslam, Catherine
Pugliese, Cara
Tonks, James
Haslam, S. Alexander
Title Declining autobiographical memory and the loss of identity: Effects on well-being
Journal name Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1380-3395
Publication date 2010-04
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13803390903140603
Volume 32
Issue 4
Start page 408
End page 416
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hove, E Sussex., United Kingdom
Publisher Psychology Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract We investigated the impact of cognitive deterioration and identity loss on well-being in older adults with dementia. We predicted that in addition to the negative effects that decline in cognitive ability has on dementia sufferers' well-being, there are also independent negative effects of identity loss. Participants (N = 48) were residents receiving standard care with mild dementia, residents receiving specialized care with severe dementia, and an age-matched community comparison group. Predictably, autobiographical memory and cognitive performance decreased linearly as a function of care level. Life satisfaction was lower for the standard care group with mild dementia than for the community sample, but, unexpectedly, life satisfaction was just as high for the severe dementia group receiving specialized care as for the community group. A similar U-shaped pattern was found in ratings of personal identity strength, and this mediated the life satisfaction effect. We conclude that amongst those suffering from dementia, loss of memory serves to compromise well-being primarily because it is associated with loss of identity. © 2009 Psychology Press.
Keyword Identity
Autobiographical memory
Cognitive functioning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 33 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 42 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 16 May 2010, 00:03:48 EST