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Adults' Memories of Their Own Childhoods
Adults' memories of their own childhoods
David B.Pillemer
Ryan A.Dickson
Introduction

Research examining adults' recollections of their own childhoods has a long history, dating back to the late 1800s (see, for example, Miles, 1895). Clinical interest burgeoned with Freud's 100-year-old discovery of the phenomenon of infantile amnesia: ‘What I have in mind is the peculiar amnesia which, in the case of most people, though by no means all, hides the earliest beginnings of their childhood up to their sixth or eighth year’ (1905/1953: 174). Freud attributed the inaccessibility of early memories to the blockading force of repression. Adler (1937) emphasized instead the psychological importance of long-lasting early memories, and researchers continue to explore the special meanings of earliest recollections (Barrett, 1980; Saunders and ...

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