Mother – Child Conversational Interactions as Events Unfold: Linkages to Subsequent Remembering



The study reported here was designed to examine linkages between mother – child conversational interactions during events and children's subsequent recall of these activities. In this longitudinal investigation, 21 mother – child dyads were observed while they engaged in specially constructed activities when the children were 30, 36, and 42 months of age. Analyses of the children's 1-day and 3-week recall of these events indicated that at all age points, features of the activities that were jointly handled and jointly discussed by the mother and child were better remembered than were features that were either (1) jointly handled and talked about only by the mother, or (2) jointly handled and not discussed. Potential linkages were also explored between incidental memory for personal experiences and deliberate recall of familiar but arbitrary materials. In this regard, children's recall of the special activities was positively correlated with their recall of objects in a deliberate memory task performed at 42 months.