The association between parent-child reminiscing and children's emotion knowledge

Penny Van Bergen*, Karen Salmon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The way that parents discuss the past with their preschool children plays a signifcant role in the development of children's store of personal memories, that is, their autobiographical memory. In this study we investigated two questions: frst, whether parents who engage their children in high-relative to low-elaborative conversations about the past using "wh" questions and descriptive information also include more emotion references, and second, whether emotion content was associated with children's emotion knowledge. Twenty-fve European Australian preschoolers discussed four emotionoriented events with a parent. Controlling for age and language, parents' elaborative utterances and their explanations of emotion causes (but not other emotion references) were each signifcantly associated with children's emotion knowledge. Follow-up regression analyses revealed high-elaborative utterances to be the stronger predictor. These fndings extend those of past research in highlighting the multiple associations between reminiscing and children's developing understanding of emotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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