ERIC Number: ED170070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Memory for a Salient Childhood Event.
Sheingold, Karen; Tenney, Yvette J.
This study is concerned with how much children remember about a salient event in their life, how much is forgotten over time, and whether age at the time of the event affects how much is remembered. Thirty-six children (ages 4, 8, and 12) and 26 college students, all of whom had a sibling born when they were age 4, were either interviewed or given a questionnaire concerning events when the sibling was born. Twenty specific questions were asked about events in the child's life just prior to, during and following the mother's stay in the hospital. The same questions were given to the mothers of the 36 children (to confirm or disconfirm the children's answers) and to 20 additional college students who were at various ages when siblings were born. Age at the time of recall had no effect on recall of specific information by children and comparable college students, or on children's confirmed scores. Several possible explanations for this finding are explored. Children's disconfirmed scores decreased between the ages 8 to 12. Mothers, unlike children, showed forgetting over time. Age at the time of the event was strongly related to recall of specific information for college students whose siblings were born at a range of ages. Further analysis suggested that age at the time of the event, and not elapsed time, is the critical variable in affecting how much children and college students remember about a sibling birth. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Wellesley Coll., MA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Childhood Recollection; Ecological Research; Sibling Birth
Note: A brief version of this paper was presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979) ; Best copy available