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Intrafamilial similarities and cross-generational differences in the earliest childhood memories of daughters, mothers, and grandmothers

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This study aimed to examine how daughters, mothers, and grandmothers from the same families resembled each other and how these three generations differed from each other in narrating their earliest childhood memories. Fifty-nine triads from the same families filled out a memory questionnaire and were asked to narrate their earliest childhood memories. Results revealed both intrafamilial similarities and cross-generational difference on characteristics of triads’ earliest childhood memories. After earliest childhood memories were coded for memory characteristics, we measured intrafamilial similarities using intra-class correlation coefficients across three generations for each memory characteristic. Results revealed that the earliest childhood memories of members of the same family were significantly similar in terms of level of detail and volume. Although similar patterns among members of the same families were observed in self-related and other-related words, the other/self ratio did not display an intrafamilial similarity. We also measured cross-generational differences and found that daughters’ reported age of their earliest childhood memories was dated significantly earlier compared to their grandmothers. Results revealed predominant intrafamilial similarities among the members of the same family and cross-generational differences in terms of the age of the earliest childhood memory.
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Keywords: Earliest childhood memory; cross-generational differences; intrafamilial similarities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Psychology Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Publication date: September 14, 2017

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