Date of Award

Spring 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Michelle D Leichtman


Eighty-seven mothers and their four-year-old children from Eastern Turkey (N = 32 mother-child pairs), Western Turkey (N =30 mother child pairs) and the United States (N = 25 mother-child pairs) participated in a study of mother-child memory talk, self-construal and parenting goals. Mother-child pairs were audio-recorded while drawing pictures and talking about shared past and anticipated future events. Mothers completed Balanced Integration-Differentiation questionnaires and were scored as high or low on individuation and relatedness orientations. They completed child rearing goals questionnaires that were scored for conformity, self-maximization and power factors. Memory and future talk differed across culture and self-construal groups. American mothers provided the most voluminous and detailed talk, whereas Eastern Turkish mothers showed the highest level of repetitiveness. Mothers who scored high on both individuation and relatedness showed higher elaborativeness and used more open-ended questions than those who scored low. Children's memory talk also differed across culture. Results are discussed in light of literature on cultural differences in memory, socialization and the self.