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Functions of autobiographical memory during mother-adolescent reminiscing and their relation to emotion regulation strategies

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2019
Elibol Pekaslan, Nur
The aim of the current study was to examine the functions of autobiographical memory (AM) during mother-adolescent reminiscing, and to investigate dyadic relationships between the functions and emotion regulation (ER) strategies with a mixed method. For the qualitative part, content analysis revealed that Self, Social, and Directive functions occurred as the main themes, and each function also included ER themes. For the quantitative part, the first aim was to examine the differences in the frequencies regarding the role of emotion type, family member, adolescent gender, and AM function. The second aim was to examine dyadic relationships between mothers’ and adolescents’ use of ER themes in AM functions and their ER strategies. Participants (108 mother-adolescent pairs) were asked to reminiscence about emotionally charged events, and filled out an ER questionnaire through home visits. Linear Mixed Model analyses revealed that adolescents reported more frequent use of Self function, for all emotions. Mothers reported more frequent use of Social function for sadness and happiness, and Directive function for sadness and anger. Actor-Partner Interdependence Model analyses revealed that mothers’ Self ER and adolescents’ Social ER negatively predicted adolescents’ reappraisal, adolescents’ Social ER negatively predicted mothers’ reappraisal, and mothers’ Social ER, mothers’ Directive ER, and adolescents’ Social ER negatively predicted mothers’ suppression, for sadness. For anger, adolescents’ Self ER negatively predicted their own suppression. For happiness, no relationship was significant. The current study would contribute to the literature by investigating functional use of AM in a dyadic setting, and by showing its relation to ER.