Infant and Child Development

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Volume 24 Issue 5 (September/October 2015), Pages i-ii, 469-570

The Bonds that Remind Us: Maternal Reminiscing for Bonding Purposes in Relation to Children's Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance (pages 469-488)

The present study investigated the relation between characteristics of mother–child reminiscing and children's perceived competence and social acceptance. We focused specifically on conversations for bonding purposes (i.e., conversations that serve the function of maintaining or strengthening the relationship between the child and the mother) as bonding may be a particularly salient context for the development of self‐views. Fifty‐two mothers and their 4‐year‐old children engaged in a past‐talk conversation where mothers were instructed to try to bond with their children. Children's perceived cognitive and physical competence and maternal and peer acceptance, along with language, were measured. Our results indicated that characteristics of maternal talk, particularly maternal support of child's autonomy and child‐centred content, were strongly related to children's perceived social acceptance. Although weaker, there were also associations between maternal talk and children's perceived competence. Results are discussed in light of theories arguing in favour of parent–child discourse as a mechanism for self‐development. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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