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Medical News & Perspectives
July 21, 1999

False Memories, Lasting Scars

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association

JAMA. 1999;282(3):224. doi:10.1001/jama.282.3.224-JMN0721-3-1

Washington—A daughter's false memories of a father's sexual abuse, even if later retracted, become a defining feature of the father's life, according to Harold Lief, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Janet Fetkewicz, MA, of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), Philadelphia.

The researchers interviewed seven falsely accused fathers, exploring the impact of the allegations on the men and their families, Lief said in a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association here in May. The subjects were recruited by contacting every tenth father on a FMSF list of 147 retractors who had supplied family information. About half the fathers who were contacted agreed to be interviewed.