Studying Mother-Child Conversations at Home in Three Cultures: Western Turkey, Eastern Turkey and the USA

Leichtman, Michelle
Şahin Acar, Başak
Research on the development of autobiographical memory has documented the important role of mother–child conversations about past events in shaping children’s memory development. To observe mother–child reminiscing in the natural environment, researchers often conduct home visits. This research methods case focuses on a study in which we visited the homes of mothers and their young children in three diverse cultural settings and recorded their conversations about shared past and anticipated future events. We describe how participants were recruited, how the home visit protocol was conducted to capture the most naturalistic data possible, and the challenges of adjusting to diverse cultural norms when visiting participants at home. We reflect on the dilemmas we faced during recruitment and data collection, how we overcame them, and broader lessons for researchers recruiting participants and conducting home visits in multiple cultures. We also discuss coding, including how best to code naturalistic mother–child speech collected in two languages to facilitate comparison.
SAGE Research Methods Cases


Age related changes in recognition memory for emotional stimuli
Kılıç, Aslı; Gökçay, Didem; Department of Cognitive Sciences (2007)
Recognition memory - a type of episodic memory in long term memory - is known in the literature to be affected by emotion, aging and the modality of the presented stimuli. The major aim of this study was to investigate whether emotional stimuli enhances recognition memory. Another goal was to observe whether modality and aging effects are present and differentiable in a non-Western subject sample. In literature, emotion studies were based on mainly two dimensions of emotions: valence and arousal. However, t...
Examining autobiographical memory characteristics through relationship stories: the role of gender and memory type
Kara, Demet; Şahin Acar, Başak; Bauer, Patricia J.; Department of Psychology (2021-2-09)
Autobiographical memories have often been investigated in self context whereas other-related memories are important components of self-in-relation to others. This study explored young adults’ personally significant and relationship memories. Forty-six young adults from Turkey and 31 young adults from the USA, aged 18-25, participated in Study 1A and 1B, respectively. In these two studies, participants narrated about their sibling relationship quality and turning points in their relationships. The major purp...
The research agenda for general practice/family medicine and primary health care in Europe. Part 3. Results: Person centred care, comprehensive and holistic approach
Van Royen, Paul; Beyer, Martin; Chevallier, Patrick; Eilat-Tsanani, Sophia; Lionis, Christos; Peremans, Lieve; Petek, Davorina; Rurik, Imre; Soler, Jean Karl; Stoffers, Henri Ejh; Topsever, Pinar; Ungan, Mehmet; Hummers-Pradier, Eva (Informa UK Limited, 2010-06-01)
The recently published ‘Research Agenda for General Practice/Family Medicine and Primary Health Care in Europe’ summarizes the evidence relating to the core competencies and characteristics of the Wonca Europe definition of GP/FM, and its implications for general practitioners/family doctors, researchers and policy makers. The European Journal of General Practice publishes a series of articles based on this document. In a first article, background, objectives, and methodology were discussed. In a second art...
How three generations narrate their vicarious family stories: intrafamilial similarities, gender and cross-generational differences
Bakir-Demir, Tugce; Reese, Elaine; Şahin Acar, Başak (Informa UK Limited, 2020-04-01)
This study investigated the memory characteristics of vicarious family stories. Seventy-two families including three generations of women and men from different samples of families were recruited. Results can be described in three main sections: (a) intrafamilial similarities; (b) gender differences; and (c) cross-generational differences. For intrafamilial similarities, members of the same family showed similarities in terms of the volume and number of other-related words. For gender differences, women foc...
The Development of episodic cognition and mental time travel in turkish preschoolers: what, where, and when
Ünal, Gülten; Hohenberger, Annette Edeltraud; Department of Cognitive Sciences (2014)
The goal of the present study is to investigate the development of episodic cognition and mental time travel and their relation with Working Memory, language ability, and counter-factual thinking in Turkish preschoolers (age range: 3 to 5 years). Overall, in order to investigate these concepts, we developed two main tasks: (1) a what-where-when (www) memory task that tests episodic memory of the past, (2) a future prediction task that tests episodic future thinking (mental time travel) and five additional t...
Citation Formats
M. Leichtman and B. Şahin Acar, “Studying Mother-Child Conversations at Home in Three Cultures: Western Turkey, Eastern Turkey and the USA,” SAGE Research Methods Cases, pp. 1–14, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: