Emotion and memory are examined within a developmental framework. The point of departure for this discussion is the study of maltreated children whose traumatic experiences have been linked to difficulties in emotional development. It is suggested that cognitive processes such as memory and attention serve to link experience with emotion and emotion with psychopathology. Thus, an information processing approach is used to explain the development of maltreated children's adaptive and maladaptive coping responses. It is argued that maltreated children's association of affective stimuli with traumatic experiences and memories selectively alters the meaning of emotions for these children. More generally, the role of experience and learning as a component of emotional development is emphasized.