Peterson, C., Hallett, D., & Compton-Gillingham, C. (2018). Childhood amnesia in children: A prospective study across eight years. Child Development, 89(6), e520-e534. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12972
This was a prospective study of earliest memories across 8 years for 37 children who were age 4-9 years initially. In three interviews (initial, after 2 and 8 years) children provided their three earliest memories; those from earlier interviews that were not spontaneously provided later were cued. There was little consistency in the earliest memory or overlap across interviews in spontaneous memories. The youngest group also forgot over half their initial memories although few were forgotten by older children. For consistency of content, 25-32% of information by former 6- to 9-year-olds was the same after 8 years, but less than 10% provided by the youngest children was the same and 22% was contradictory. Emotion and contextual coherence predicted memory retention.