Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/29390
Title: Características fenomenológicas, funcionais e estruturais da memória autobiográfica em homens e mulheres em cumprimento de pena de prisão
Authors: Neves, Daniela Sofia Reis 
Orientador: Pinho, Maria Salomé Ferreira Estima
Keywords: Memória autobiográfica; Reclusos; Autobiographical memory; Offenders
Issue Date: 10-Mar-2016
Citation: NEVES, Daniela Sofia Reis - Características fenomenológicas, funcionais e estruturais da memória autobiográfica em homens e mulheres em cumprimento de pena de prisão. Coimbra : [s.n.], 2016. Tese de doutoramento. Disponível na WWW: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/29390
Abstract: A Memória Autobiográfica (MA) desempenha um papel fundamental na formação da identidade, na interpretação do contexto, nas relações sociais e na seleção de comportamentos para atingir objetivos. A investigação sobre a MA tem identificado dificuldades na recordação de eventos pessoais específicos em diversas populações clínicas. Esses problemas na MA episódica parecem relacionar-se com défices nas funções executivas, com a ruminação e com estratégias disfuncionais de coping baseadas no evitamento de MAs potencialmente perturbadoras. A sobregeneralização da MA é preditora de piores prognósticos e está relacionada com dificuldades na resolução de problemas sociais e no planeamento de comportamentos. Os dois estudos empíricos apresentados nesta dissertação procuraram investigar se pessoas que cometeram crimes exibiam MAs com características diferenciais. Em particular, analisou-se se diferentes grupos de reclusos de ambos os géneros apresentavam MAs menos específicas, comparativamente com grupos de controlo da população geral, e se essa especificidade diminuída se relacionava com défices nas funções executivas, observados, frequentemente, quer em transgressores, quer em populações clínicas que apresentam MA sobregeneralizada. Então, num primeiro estudo foram comparadas a especificidade e características fenomenológicas (e.g., intensidade emocional, importância) de MAs pessoalmente relevantes de valência positiva e negativa em 92 reclusos e num grupo de controlo com o mesmo número de participantes, equiparados em termos de idade e escolaridade. As MAs recolhidas eram de conteúdo livre e deveriam incidir sobre quatro períodos diferentes do ciclo de vida, desde a infância até ao último mês. Foram também avaliados os sintomas depressivos, a fluência verbal e a capacidade de resolução de problemas sociais dos participantes. Os reclusos recordaram menos MAs episódicas do que os indivíduos do grupo de controlo, mas apenas de valência positiva. As MAs negativas dos reclusos foram avaliadas como mais perturbadoras do seu estado de humor e influentes na sua vida. A especificidade das MAs positivas estava relacionada com o funcionamento executivo nos reclusos do sexo masculino, e com aspetos emocionais nas reclusas do sexo feminino. No segundo estudo, foi solicitada a evocação de 10 MAs episódicas pessoalmente relevantes (metade de cada valência) relacionadas com uma palavra-pista. Os participantes (59 reclusos de ambos os géneros e 59 pessoas da população geral) avaliaram cada MA quanto a diversas características fenomenológicas e funcionais. Avaliou-se, adicionalmente, a desejabilidade social, os sintomas depressivos, o autoconceito, a autoestima e as funções executivas (fluência verbal, teste Stroop e Labirintos) dos participantes. O padrão de menor especificidade nas MAs positivas e maior intensidade emocional nas MAs negativas de reclusos foi novamente observado. A recordação de MAs negativas mais específicas nos reclusos relacionou-se com um desempenho subsequente inferior em tarefas de avaliação das funções executivas, sugerindo que as MAs mobilizaram significativamente a capacidade de autorregulação. Os resultados de ambos os estudos são discutidos considerando potenciais mecanismos cognitivos subjacentes às características diferenciais da MA de reclusos e as suas possíveis implicações para o estudo do comportamento antissocial. Autobiographical Memory (AM) plays a fundamental part in identity formation, context interpretation, social relationships and goal-oriented behaviour. Research on AM has identified problems with remembering specific personal events in different clinical populations. These episodic AM problems seem to be related to deficits in executive control, to rumination and to dysfunctional coping strategies grounded on the avoidance of potentially disturbing AMs. Overgeneral AM predicts worse prognostics and is related to impairments in social problem-solving and in behaviour planning. The two empirical studies presented in this thesis aimed to investigate whether individuals who committed crimes exhibited AMs with differential characteristics. Particularly, we analysed if different groups of prisoners of both genders presented less specific AMs, compared to a control group from the general population, and whether that reduced specificity was related to executive functions impairments, frequently observed in offenders, as well as in clinical populations who exhibit overgeneral AM. Thus, a first study compared the specificity and phenomenological characteristics (e.g., affective intensity, and importance) of positive and negative personally relevant AMs in 92 prisoners and in a control group with the same number of participants, paired in terms of age and education level. The AMs collected had free content and had to belong to four different life cycle periods, ranging from infancy until the last month. Depressive symptoms, verbal fluency and problem-solving skills of the participants were also assessed. The prisoners recalled less episodic AMs, but only of positive valence. The prisoners rated their negative AMs as having more impact in their mood and as being more significant in their lives. Specificity for positive events was related to executive functioning for male prisoners and to emotional aspects for female prisoners. In the second study, participants were asked to recall 10 personally relevant episodic AMs (half of each valence) related to a cue-word. The participants (59 prisoners of both genders and 59 individuals from the general population) rated each AM regarding several phenomenological and functional characteristics. Additionally, social desirability, depressive symptoms, self-concept, self-esteem and executive functions (verbal fluency, Stroop test, Mazes) of the participants were assessed. The pattern of lower specificity in positive AMs and of higher affective intensity of negative AMs in the prisoners was replicated. The recall of more specific negative AMs in prisoners was related to a subsequent lower performance in the executive functioning assessment tasks, suggesting that the AMs depleted the self-regulation capacity significantly. The results of both studies are discussed in light of the potential cognitive mechanisms underlying the differential AM characteristics of the prisoners and their possible implications for the study of antisocial behaviour.
Autobiographical Memory (AM) plays a fundamental part in identity formation, context interpretation, social relationships and goal-oriented behaviour. Research on AM has identified problems with remembering specific personal events in different clinical populations. These episodic AM problems seem to be related to deficits in executive control, to rumination and to dysfunctional coping strategies grounded on the avoidance of potentially disturbing AMs. Overgeneral AM predicts worse prognostics and is related to impairments in social problem-solving and in behaviour planning. The two empirical studies presented in this thesis aimed to investigate whether individuals who committed crimes exhibited AMs with differential characteristics. Particularly, we analysed if different groups of prisoners of both genders presented less specific AMs, compared to a control group from the general population, and whether that reduced specificity was related to executive functions impairments, frequently observed in offenders, as well as in clinical populations who exhibit overgeneral AM. Thus, a first study compared the specificity and phenomenological characteristics (e.g., affective intensity, and importance) of positive and negative personally relevant AMs in 92 prisoners and in a control group with the same number of participants, paired in terms of age and education level. The AMs collected had free content and had to belong to four different life cycle periods, ranging from infancy until the last month. Depressive symptoms, verbal fluency and problem-solving skills of the participants were also assessed. The prisoners recalled less episodic AMs, but only of positive valence. The prisoners rated their negative AMs as having more impact in their mood and as being more significant in their lives. Specificity for positive events was related to executive functioning for male prisoners and to emotional aspects for female prisoners. In the second study, participants were asked to recall 10 personally relevant episodic AMs (half of each valence) related to a cue-word. The participants (59 prisoners of both genders and 59 individuals from the general population) rated each AM regarding several phenomenological and functional characteristics. Additionally, social desirability, depressive symptoms, self-concept, self-esteem and executive functions (verbal fluency, Stroop test, Mazes) of the participants were assessed. The pattern of lower specificity in positive AMs and of higher affective intensity of negative AMs in the prisoners was replicated. The recall of more specific negative AMs in prisoners was related to a subsequent lower performance in the executive functioning assessment tasks, suggesting that the AMs depleted the self-regulation capacity significantly. The results of both studies are discussed in light of the potential cognitive mechanisms underlying the differential AM characteristics of the prisoners and their possible implications for the study of antisocial behaviour.
Description: Tese de doutoramento em Psicologia, na especialidade de Psicologia Forense, apresentada à Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10316/29390
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FPCEUC - Teses de Doutoramento

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