Peterson, C., & Nguyen, D.T.K. (in press). Parent-child relationship quality and infantile amnesia in adults. British Journal of Psychology

The first years of life are typically shrouded by infantile amnesia, but there is enormous variability between adults in how early and how much they can remember from this period. This study examined one possible factor affecting this variability: whether the perceived quality of parent-child relationships is associated with the number of early memories young adults can retrieve, and their age at the time of their first memory. We found such associations but they were qualified by parent gender. Mother-child relationships that were more affectively intense (greater social support but also more negative interchanges) were associated with recalling more early memories, although paternal companionship was most associated with how early an individual's first memory was. Affective tone of retrieved memories was also assessed, and a greater proportion of affectively positive memories (as well as fewer affectively neutral memories for males) was associated with high parental involvement in children's lives.