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Emotion in Memory and DevelopmentBiological, Cognitive, and Social Considerations$
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Jodi Quas and Robyn Fivush

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326932

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326932.001.0001

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Co-constructing Memories and Meaning over Time

Co-constructing Memories and Meaning over Time

(p.343) 13 Co-constructing Memories and Meaning over Time
Emotion in Memory and Development

Robyn Fivush

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how time is conceptualized as a developmental process that occurs both within individuals and within socioemotional contexts that both shape and are shaped by what we remember. It begins with a discussion of aspects of individual development, focusing on the tension between change and continuity, and how developmental level and individual differences are complexly intertwined across time. It then turns to how individual development is modulated within socioemotional contexts that provide the framework for the development and expression of memory and emotion. It argues that the concept of “scaffolding,” how adults guide and structure social interaction, helps to integrate the ways in which attachment and reminiscing interact with individual development in shaping memories of emotional events. Finally, the chapter returns to the question of meaning-making. In the end, what may matter the most about our memories of highly emotional and stressful events is how we are able to create meaning in such a way that our memories do not overwhelm us, and this is a process that may only be possible within a social context in which meaning is co-constructed.

Keywords:   memory, socioemotional contexts, scaffolding, meaning-making, stressful events, emotional events

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