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Collaborative RememberingTheories, Research, and Applications$
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Michelle L. Meade, Celia B. Harris, Penny Van Bergen, John Sutton, and Amanda J. Barnier

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737865.001.0001

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Developing Social Functions of Autobiographical Memory within Family Storytelling

Developing Social Functions of Autobiographical Memory within Family Storytelling

(p.38) Chapter 3 Developing Social Functions of Autobiographical Memory within Family Storytelling
Collaborative Remembering

Robyn Fivush

Widaad Zaman

Natalie Merrill

Oxford University Press

We examine the developing social functions of autobiographical memory across childhood from a sociocultural perspective. We focus on family storytelling, and argue that reminiscing facilitates social and emotional bonds among family members. We delineate both the process of reminiscing, sharing our past with others in conversation, and the content of reminiscing, reminiscing about people, and reflecting on the value of those relationships. Elaborated family reminiscing, both about shared experiences and intergenerational narratives told by the older generation to the younger generation, emerges from more secure early parent–child attachment relationships, and facilitates the maintenance of family bonds through adolescence. Intriguingly, females may use autobiographical narratives to create and maintain socioemotional bonds with others to a greater extent than do males.

Keywords:   narrative, autobiographical memory, family storytelling, intergenerational narratives, gender

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