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

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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
Pages (from-to)1-49
JournalAdvances in Child Development and Behavior/Academic Press
StatePublished - 2011


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