Exploring the relationship between parent mental health and parent–child emotion reminiscing

Publication Name

Early Child Development and Care


This study examines how parents’ mental health symptoms, emotion regulation and mindfulness relate to parent–child reminiscing conversations about past emotional events. Fifty-four children aged 8–12 years and their parents were recruited from a child psychology clinic (n = 28) and local schools (n = 26). Dyad’s reminiscing conversations were recorded, transcribed, and coded for elaboration style, emotion content and emotion closure. Child language ability and mental health symptoms were measured, as was parent mindfulness, emotion regulation and mental health symptoms. Mindfulness acting with awareness was a unique predictor of dyad emotion closure. Depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms were not directly related to elaborative reminiscing, however, moderation by clinical status revealed a negative relationship for the community children only. These findings suggest a more complex relationship at play between parent and child mental health in reminiscing within clinical populations. Implications of these findings for a growing body of reminiscing interventions are discussed.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Australian Rotary Health



Link to publisher version (DOI)