This study compared the effects of mother-child reminiscing coaching on mothers of typically developing children (community sample) and mothers of children with conduct problems (clinical sample). It also tested whether intervention effects generalize to mothers’ preferences for elaborative and mental-state oriented talk with their children in other contexts. Mother-child dyads (n = 88) in each sample were randomly allocated to condition: reminiscing intervention or active control. Pre-intervention, sample differences emerged. Mothers in the community sample were more elaborative during reminiscing than mothers in the clinical sample, and also expressed stronger preferences for elaborative talk in everyday contexts. Post-intervention, an intervention effect emerged. In both the community and clinical samples, mothers who had participated in the elaborative reminiscing intervention were more elaborative and emotion-focused during reminiscing than mothers in the active control condition. They also increased their preferences for elaborative and mental-state-oriented language in everyday contexts. While the mothers in the community sample remained more elaborative than mothers in the clinical sample, both experienced equivalent intervention gains. These findings highlight the value of reminiscing coaching for changing mothers’ interactional preferences and behaviours.
- mental state references
- conduct problems