The Role of Reminiscing in the Development of Attachment

by Joanna Evelyn Parry

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 2013
Keywords: Reminisicing; Attachment; Adolescents; Longitudinal
Record ID: 1302946
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/3752


The present research aimed to examine relations between parent reminiscing and later attachment. It was expected that parent reminiscing in early childhood be related to later attachment, even after accounting for continuities both in attachment and in parent-child reminiscing. Evidence was collected from a New Zealand longitudinal study of childhood development. The fifty-eight mothers and their now 16-year-old adolescents have been involved in this research since the children were toddlers. Previous research on this sample has collected attachment status at 19 months using the Attachment Q-Set (AQS) and reminiscing style at multiple timepoints between 19 - 40 months. The present timepoint examined attachment status at 16 years using the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA), and reminiscing with mothers at 12 years using positive and negative event conversations. Children’s early attachment status (at 19 months) was related to reminiscing in early childhood, but was not related to reminiscing at age 12, and was not significantly correlated to attachment at age 16. Children whose mothers used a more elaborative reminiscing style (maternal yes/no elaborations and statement elaborations) in early childhood developed greater peer and parent alienation and less peer trust. This relationship between reminiscing and attachment was also found at age 12. In particular, high maternal monologuing (mothers who talk more in each conversational turn) in early childhood and at age 12 was related to less secure attachment in adolescents. These findings support the hypothesis that there are optimal ways of reminiscing with young children and with adolescents.