The present study examined the impact of training mothers in high-elaborative, emotional reminiscing on children's autobiographical memory and emotion knowledge. Eighty mothers were randomly allocated to one of two training conditions: in the reminiscing condition, mothers were encouraged to reminisce by asking their children (aged 3.5 to 5 years) elaborative Wh- questions, providing detailed descriptions, and discussing emotions, and in the control condition, mothers were encouraged to play by following their children's lead. Forty-four mothers completed the study. Both immediately and 6 months after training, mothers in the reminiscing condition and their children each made more high-elaborative utterances and emotion references during shared recall than did mothers in the control condition and their children. Children of reminiscing mothers also showed better emotion cause knowledge after 6 months than did children of control mothers, but children's independent recall to an experimenter did not differ according to condition. The findings suggest that an elaborative and emotion-rich reminiscing style can be taught to parents, with potential benefits for children's shared (but not independent) memory contributions and for emotion knowledge development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health