Twenty-five year follow-up of child-reading practices: Reliability of retrospective data

Deborah Finkel, Matt McGue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A follow-up of participants in a study of speech development provided the opportunity to investigate (i) the reliability of retrospective accounts of the child-rearing environment, and (ii) personality bias in retrospective recall of child-rearing circumstances. Comparing original accounts of child-rearing to retrospective accounts is the most powerful design for examining the reliability of retrospective recall, yet it has been employed by only one other study. As part of the original study, parents completed a child-rearing questionnaire when their children were age 7, and the children completed the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) at age 16. Factor analysis of the child-rearing questionnaire identified four factors, Cohesiveness, Openness, Control and Punishment, for which scales were constructed. At follow-up, 147 parents and 119 children completed a retrospective child-rearing questionnaire as well as the EPI. The data showed that retrospective accounts were only moderately reliable but did not appear to be affected by personality bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1993

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ackno~ledgemenrs-~This study was supported in part by NIA Grant AG06886. The authors would like to thank Tom Bouchard, Nancy Segal, and Irwin Waldman for their comments on early versions of this manuscript.


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