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Type of Case: Clinical

Corroboration: Childhood Medical Records, Childhood Therapy Records, Parental Confirmation, Additional Documentary Evidence

Publication Location: Journal of Traumatic Stress

Related Cases:


In the course of a prospective longitudinal childhood study unrelated to child abuse or memory, "Laura" showed evidence of both the loss and recovery of a corroborated memory of childhood sexual abuse, with data from interviews with her, her mother, and multiple therapists, teachers, and other professionals. Using both prospective and retrospective data, this case “circumvents many limitations of previous studies by including multiple corroborative sources of evidence of sexual trauma in early childhood, prospective evidence of memory loss in oral and written measures in consecutive assessments, and evidence of spontaneous recovery of memory outside of therapy in the context of late adolescence" (Duggal & Sroufe 1998). Though early childhood interviews indicated clear knowledge and understanding of abuse that had happened to her, general adolescent health and wellness interviews indicated Laura's belief that she had never experienced sexual abuse or "any terrible or unusual experiences." However, at age 19, Laura recovered a memory of the abuse after talking with a boyfriend and a friend about "first memories" with each of her parents. Her experience during the moment of recovery is well documented (Duggal & Sroufe 1998).


Duggal, S. & Sroufe, L. A. (1998). “Recovered Memory of Childhood Sexual Trauma: A Documented Case from a Longitudinal Study,” Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 11, No. 2, (1998): 301-21

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