The me in memory: The role of the self in autobiographical memory development

Josephine Ross (Lead / Corresponding author), Jacqui Hutchison, Sheila J. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
456 Downloads (Pure)


This article tests the hypothesis that self-development plays a role in the offset of childhood amnesia; assessing the importance of both the capacity to anchor a memory to the self-concept, and the strength of the self-concept as an anchor. This research demonstrates for the first time that the volume of 3- to 6-year old's specific autobiographical memories is predicted by both the volume of their self-knowledge, and their capacity for self-source monitoring within self-referencing paradigms (N = 186). Moreover, there is a bidirectional relation between self and memory, such that autobiographical memory mediates the link between self-source monitoring and self-knowledge. These predictive relations suggest that the self-memory system is active in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e299-e314
Number of pages16
JournalChild Development
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2020


  • Autobiographical memory
  • self memory system
  • childhood amnesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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