PATRICIA J. BAUER, MELISSA M. BURCH, DANA L. VAN ABBEMA, AND JENNIFER K. ACKIL
A deeply rooted assumption is that highly stressful and even traumatic events are differentially remembered relative to events that are more affectively neutral or positive. In the present chapter, we evaluate this assumption using data from a study of children's reports of the experience of a tornado that devastated the town of St. Peter, Minnesota, in March of 1998. The evaluation is multifaceted, featuring analyses of how much the children reported, the type of information they included, and the extent to which their reports were affected by the narrative style of their conversational partners, namely their mothers. We turn to the evaluation after a brief review of the basis for expectation of differential memory for traumatic events and a description of the St. Peter, Minnesota, tornado and its aftermath.
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