中華心理學刊 民 111，64 卷，2 期，175-190
Chinese Journal of Psychology 2022, Vol.64, No.2, 175-190
Yi-Wen Kung(Department of Psychology, Fo Guang University), Sue-Huei Chen(Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University)
The shattered assumptions theory indicates that traumatic events, especially interpersonal traumas, could shatter positive schema; thus, survivors may develop posttraumatic stress symptoms. Reduced autobiographical memory specificity has also been identified in survivors, and its mechanism is based on two perspectives: the self-memory system and functional avoidance. The self-memory system posits that self-schema can guide autobiographical memory retrieval and inhibit specific information (i.e., traumatic information) that is self-incoherent or threatening. According to the functional avoidance mechanism, memory retrieval is terminated to reduce emotional disturbance associated with aversive events. One type of functional avoidance is experiential avoidance, which is an unwillingness to have contact with aversive experiences. Few studies have explored the aforementioned relationships. This study aimed to examine the association between positive schema and autobiographical memory specificity (AMS) in survivors of interpersonal trauma and to explore the moderating effect of experiential avoidance on the association. In this study, 94 participants with interpersonal trauma completed self-report measures assessing positive schema, experiential avoidance, and AMS with different valences and self-relevant cues. Results indicate that experiential avoidance moderates the relationship between positive schema and AMS with highly self-relevant cues. Specifically, among individuals with high experiential avoidance, those with higher-level positive schema displayed less AMS in response to highly self-relevant positive and negative cues. These findings not only support the role of experiential avoidance as a moderator between positive schema and AMS, but they also suggest its protective role in AMS, regardless of whether the memories are positive or negative. In addition, the effect of experiential avoidance may hinder self-coherence or may retain an inflexible positive schema and thus impede posttraumatic adjustment.
Keywords: experiential avoidance; positive schema; autobiographical memory specificity; self-memory system; interpersonal traumas