Earliest memories in Israeli kibbutz upbringing: it is parental engagement that makes a difference

Ora Aviezer, Efrat Sher-Censor, Tahel Stein-Lahad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Culture and parenting shape the ability to recall early childhood experiences. This research focused on the unique context of upbringing in the Israeli kibbutz and examined how cultural orientation and experiences of parental engagement in Kibbutz and non-Kibbutz settings shaped adults’ earliest memories. Participants were 108 women (study 1) and 75 women and men (study 2) who were raised in traditional kibbutz upbringing or in a non-kibbutz family setting. In addition to reporting their earliest memory and age at earliest memory, participants estimated retrospectively the amount of daily time spent in interaction with parents, caregivers, and other children during the time of earliest memory. Overall, upbringing-related variations in cultural orientation were evident in the content of memories. A prediction of later age at earliest memory due to limited opportunities for parent–child interaction characteristic of traditional kibbutz upbringing was not supported. Rather, in both studies, age at earliest memory was linked to retrospective estimation of parental engagement, after controlling for childhood ecology. Study 2 revealed also a link of age at earliest memory to retrospective estimation of involvement with non-parental caregivers. These findings are congruent with the social-interaction model’s claims about the importance of interaction with caregiving adults to autobiographical memory’s development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1389
Number of pages15
Issue number10
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Earliest memory
  • childhood experiences
  • collective kibbutz upbringing
  • cultural orientation
  • parental engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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