The development of children’s autobiographical and deliberate memory through mother-child reminiscing

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olivia K. Cook (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Coffman

Abstract: Children’s use of strategic techniques for remembering and the effectiveness of these deliberate strategies both improve across elementary school. However, developmental scientists are still in the early stages of exploring the course of development within individual children as well as the social processes that may influence this development. In a parallel literature, research on children’s autobiographical memory has documented variations in children’s memory skills as a function of parental elaborative style during shared conversations about the past, or mother-child reminiscing. This linkage suggests that perhaps something about this reminiscing context may also be important for the development of strategic memory skills. The current study allows for the examination of associations between children’s deliberate memory and autobiographical memory as well as how both types of memory may be scaffolded by mother-child reminiscing. Using data from the first cohort of an ongoing study about children’s memory, correlational analyses were conducted between kindergarten children’s autobiographical memory and their deliberate strategy use and recall. Hierarchical linear regression models were used to predict these child outcomes from parents’ observed elaborative reminiscing style. Results supported the connection between children’s deliberate strategy use and recall as well as the association between parents’ elaborative style and children’s autobiographical memory. Interestingly, parents’ elaborative style did not predict children’s spontaneous strategy use, but rather their use of an organizational strategy after explicit training, suggesting that parents’ style is related to children’s ability to take advantage of instruction in a specific memory strategy. These findings provide valuable insight into the socialization of cognition, but also raise important questions about the role of parental processes in specific aspects of children’s memory development.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Autobiographical Memory, Deliberate Memory, Mother-Child Reminiscing, Strategy Use
Memory in children
Autobiographical memory
Recollection (Psychology)
Mother and child

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