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Origins of mother–child reminiscing style.

Reese, Elaine and Meins, Elizabeth and Fernyhough, Charles and Centifanti, Luna (2019) 'Origins of mother–child reminiscing style.', Development and psychopathology., 31 (2). pp. 631-642.


Maternal elaborative reminiscing supports preschool children's autobiographical memory, self-concept, and emotion understanding. What are the factors contributing to mothers' elaborative style of reminiscing? In a longitudinal community sample (n = 170 at the final data point), this study explored the role of maternal depression (8–44 months), maternal sensitivity and maternal mind-mindedness (8 months), as well as child factors of joint attention (15 months), attachment security (15 months), and language (26 months) for mother–child reminiscing about a positive (happy) and a negative (scared) event at 44 months. Mothers could be classed into two groups of low versus increasing depression from 8 to 44 months, yet maternal depression did not uniquely predict mother–child reminiscing after accounting for maternal sensitivity and other factors. Instead, maternal sensitivity, children's joint attention, and language uniquely predicted children's elaborations about the scared event at 44 months, and maternal sensitivity uniquely predicted mothers' elaborations about the scared event at 44 months. Mothers who are more sensitive in early interactions may later be better at engaging their children when reminiscing about negative emotions. These findings have implications for the design of interventions targeted at supporting mothers to engage in elaborative reminiscing with their preschool children.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This article has been published in a revised form in Development and psychopathology This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © copyright holder.
Date accepted:13 February 2018
Date deposited:11 May 2018
Date of first online publication:26 April 2018
Date first made open access:26 October 2018

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