Mother-Child Emotion Dialogues: A Window into the Psychological Secure Base

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


Mother-child conversations about the past, including dialogues about distressing events experienced by the child, play an important role in the development of children's autobiographical memory. This chapter describes studies of such dialogues and reviews findings that point to their importance. Findings from the longitudinal studies including both low-and high-risk samples highlight the importance of the dialogues that evolve between mothers and children when they discuss children's memories of emotional events. Within this context, mothers' sensitive guidance and structuring of the dialogues and children's openness and cooperation while jointly negotiating the narrative have emerged as particularly meaningful.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotion in Memory and Development
Subtitle of host publicationBiological, Cognitive, and Social Considerations
EditorsJ. Quas, R. Fivush
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages142- 165
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780199870318
ISBN (Print)9780195326932
StatePublished - 1 May 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Autobiographical memory
  • Children
  • Dialogue
  • Mothers
  • Parents
  • Stressful events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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