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

Josephine Ross*, Jacqui Hutchison, Sheila J. Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
524 Downloads (Pure)


This paper 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. We demonstrate 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 relationship between self and memory, such that autobiographical memory mediates the link between self-source monitoring and self-knowledge. These predictive relationships suggests 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


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