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Parental attachment and children's memory for attachment-relevant stories


Despite evidence that parents' attachment is associated with children's memory, less is known about the mechanisms underlying this association or the contexts in which the association is most meaningful. The present study examined whether parents' attachment predicted children's memory for stories about attachment-related topics, whether the cohesiveness of children's stories mediated the association between attachment and memory, and whether the association varied by interview support at retrieval. Five- to 6-year-olds completed attachment-relevant stories while parents provided information about their romantic attachment. Children's stories were coded for cohesiveness. A week later, children's memory for their stories was tested by either a supportive or non-supportive interviewer. When the interview was non-supportive, greater parental avoidance was associated with poorer memory, whereas when the interview was supportive, greater parental avoidance was associated with fewer errors. Findings provide insight into the context under which parents' attachment is most influential in shaping children's memory.

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