Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Brief Clinical Reports

The Relationship Between Problem-Solving and Autobiographical Memory in Parasuicide Patients

Gary L. Sidleya1, Kim Whitakera2, Rachel M. Calama2 and Adrian Wellsa2

a1 North Manchester General Hospital

a2 Uiversity of Manchester


The relationship between effectiveness of interpersonal problem-solving and specificity of autobiographical memory was examined for 35 patients admitted to an inner-city District General Hospital following a deliberate drug-overdose. The results replicated those of Evans, Williams, O'Loughlin and Howells (1992) in finding a significant correlation between ineffective problem-solving and the over-general retrieval of autobiographical memories, giving further support to the suggestion that an over-general memory database may underpin the problem-solving deficits characteristic of parasuicide patients. However, the correlation coefficient computed was notably lower than in the Evans et al. study and an attempt is made to explain this discrepancy on the basis of differences in the levels of psychopathology between the patients involved in each study.