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The Relationship Between Parent and Adolescent Autobiographical Memory Specificity

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posted on 2021-12-08, 01:57 authored by Letham, Brandan

The ways we remember our past have been demonstrated to have important implications regarding our psychological functioning (Waters, 2014). Research suggests parents scaffold early remembering skills which can shape the amount of specific detail children can recall from their autobiographical memories (Autobiographical Memory Specificity; AMS) (Reese & Fivush, 1993; Reese, Haden, & Fivush, 1993; Valentino et al., 2014). The current study investigated whether parents and their adolescent children display similar patterns of AMS. In addition, previous literature has predominately utilised only one measure of AMS – the Autobiographical Memory Test (Williams & Broadbent, 1986). A critique of this measure and an argument for adopting a new measure of AMS is provided. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between parent and adolescent rumination which has been shown to share an important relationship with AMS (Williams et al., 2007) and, like AMS, is suggested to be socialised early in the life span (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyuboirsky, 2008). Sixty-seven parent-adolescent dyads were recruited, and measures of AMS and rumination were administered. A significant positive relationship between parent and adolescent rumination was found, however, the relationships between parent and adolescent AMS were non-significant. Implications regarding existing theory, limitations, and ideas for future research are discussed.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Salmon, Karen