My Stories

Principal investigator: Kristin Valentino, Ph.D.

Although it is clear that cognitive processes such as memory are linked to emotion , and in particular, to stressful events, there is considerable debate concerning the underlying mechanisms for and the direction of the relation between stress and children’s subsequent memory. One explanation for the inconsistent findings concerning the relations between stress and memory in children may be individual differences. For example, by influencing the way children experience, think about, and talk about stressful events, individual differences in parent-child reminiscing is related to children’s memory. The primary goal of the My Stories Project is to evaluate individual differences in mother-child reminiscing in relation to children’s memory for stressful and nonstressful experiences, and to children’s socio-emotional development by: (a) extending extant research to a younger age range; (b) extending research to a low SES sample; and © exploring additional individual difference variables including parenting behaviors, attachment and psychopathology; child temperament, inhibition and self concept; and additional aspects of memory including specificity of parent and child autobiographical memory.

The My Stories project was launched in November 2009 and is no longer recruiting participants.

For more information about Dr. Valentino’s research, visit the Development and Psychopathology Lab