Peterson, C., Wang, Q., & Hou, Y. (in press). "When I was little": Childhood recollections in Chinese and European Canadian grade-school children. Child Development.


Recollection of early childhood experiences was investigated in European Canadian and Chinese children (ages 8, 11, and 14) by a memory fluency task that measured accessibility of multiple early memories, and elicited the earliest memory. Younger children provided memories of events that occurred at earlier ages than older children. Furthermore, Canadian children produced more memories and had an earlier age of first memory than did Chinese children, with cultural differences in both measures increasing with age. It appears that while adult-like childhood amnesia is still emerging among Canadian children, Chinese children by age 14 already resemble adults. Content of Canadian versus Chinese children's memories reflected an autonomous versus relational self-construal. Results are discussed in terms of sociocultural influences on memory.