B3980 - The predictive power of autobiographical memory in shaping mental health of young people - 14/03/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Caitlin Hitchcock | University of Melbourne
Dr Naomi Warne, Ms Dou Hong
Title of project: 
The predictive power of autobiographical memory in shaping mental health of young people
Proposal summary: 

The way in which we remember our past - our autobiographical memory - plays a key role in how we think and feel about ourselves and how we imagine our future. As such, dysfunction within the autobiographical memory system can have a lasting impact on mental health. In this study, we are interested in whether the ability to retrieve specific, detailed memories of the personal past for both positive and negative events can influence whether adolescents develop mental health issues in the future. There is lots of previous research which suggests that having trouble recalling specific memories does predict mental illness in the future, and our study is particularly interested in whether factors such as life stress or family history of mental illness may influence this relationship. We are using meta-analysis to compile datasets from young people all around the world to try and answer this question, and to ensure that our results accurately represent all young people.

Impact of research: 
We hope the clarify the role of an important cognitive system - autobiographical memory - in the first onset of a range of mental health disorders. Further understanding of this prospective relationship will allow us to refine memory-based intervention options for future use as preventative interventions for young people.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 22 February, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 14 March, 2022
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Cognition - cognitive function