Peterson, C., Sales, J.M., Rees, M., & Fivush, R. (in press). Parent-child talk and children's memory for stressful events. Applied Cognitive Psychology .


The relationship between parents' styles of talking about past events with their children and children's recall of stressful events was explored. In this investigation, 2-5 year old children's recall of injuries requiring hospital emergency room treatment was assessed within a few days of the injury and again 2 years later, along with the way their parents reminisced with them about the event. Correlational analyses showed that age and parental reminiscing style were consistently related to child memory; regression analyses showed that although age was most important, parents who were more elaborative had children who recalled more during their initial interview about the harder-to-remember hospital event. Thus, an elaborative parental style may help children's recall of even highly salient and stressful events.