Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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The study of children's spontaneous talk about the past is critical to understanding narrative and autobiographical memory development. Mothers of 59 New Zealand children recorded their spontaneous talk about past events. In Study 1, mothers recorded children's verbal memories at 25 and 32 months. Study 2 consisted of one child's verbal memories from 14.5 to 19.5 months of age. The results from both studies revealed that children progressed from talking about absent objects and locations to mentioning more complex aspects of events. At first, children's verbal memories were largely cued by the environment, but children were capable of internally cued memories from a very young age. Children's verbal memory development was not completely dependent on their language skill. Children's spontaneous memories focused on much more mundane events than those adults chose to discuss with their young children. The shift in what children find interesting to encode and discuss, along with their skill in narrating events to others, may contribute to the beginning of autobiographical memory.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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