Autobiographical memory development from an attachment perspective: the special role of negative events

Yoojin Chae, Gail S. Goodman, Robin S. Edelstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The authors propose a novel model of autobiographical memory development that features the fundamental role of attachment orientations and negative life events. In the model, it is proposed that early autobiographical memory derives in part from the need to express and remember negative experiences, a need that has adaptive value, and that attachment orientations create individual differences in children's recollections of negative experiences. Specifically, the role of attachment in the processing of negative information is discussed in regard to the mnemonic stages of encoding, storage, and retrieval. This model sheds light on several areas of contradictory data in the memory development literature, such as concerning earliest memories and children's and adults’ memory/suggestibility for stressful events.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages49
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Publication series

NameAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
ISSN (Print)0065-2407


  • Attachment
  • Autobiographical Memory
  • Defensive Exclusion
  • Encoding
  • Negative Events
  • Retrieval
  • Storage


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