The Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire: a population-based random sampling study

Memory. 2010 May;18(4):413-26. doi: 10.1080/09658211003742672. Epub 2010 Apr 20.


The Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ) has been shown to have acceptable reliability and factorial, predictive, and concurrent validity. However, the PRMQ has never been administered to a probability sample survey representative of all ages in adulthood, nor have previous studies controlled for factors that are known to influence metamemory, such as affective status. Here, the PRMQ was applied in a survey adopting a probabilistic three-stage cluster sample representative of the population of Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to gender, age (20-80 years), and economic status (n=1042). After excluding participants who had conditions that impair memory (depression, anxiety, used psychotropics, and/or had neurological/psychiatric disorders), in the remaining 664 individuals we (a) used confirmatory factor analyses to test competing models of the latent structure of the PRMQ, and (b) studied effects of gender, age, schooling, and economic status on prospective and retrospective memory complaints. The model with the best fit confirmed the same tripartite structure (general memory factor and two orthogonal prospective and retrospective memory factors) previously reported. Women complained more of general memory slips, especially those in the first 5 years after menopause, and there were more complaints of prospective than retrospective memory, except in participants with lower family income.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Association Learning
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reference Values
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult