Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Developmental Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Kim Roberts

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Five- to 6- and 7- to 8-year old (N=118) participated, in groups, in 4 sessions of the Laurier Activities over a 2-week period. The Laurier Activities centered around tasks such as listening to a story, completing a puzzle, mild physical exercise, relaxation, getting refreshed, and getting a surprise. Across sessions of these activities, instantiations of each task (e.g., the content of the story) were presented at different frequencies. Instantiations were fixed (the same every time), variable (changed every time), or “Hi/Lo” (the Hi frequency instantiation presented at 3 sessions, the Lo frequency instantiation presented at 1 session). Children were interviewed individually based on the NICHD protocol (Orbach et al., 2000) after a week delay. This protocol consists of rapport-building, ground rules, a practice phase in which the child is encouraged to report episodic details in response to open-ended questions, and a substantive phase. The current study focused on the Practice Phase of this interview and manipulated the type of practice in 3 between-subject conditions. In the experimental conditions, children practiced describing specific instances of a repeated autobiographical event (incident-specific practice), or what generally happens during the repeated event (general practice). Children in teh control condition described a single-experience, novel, event. Incident-specific practice benefited children most when recalling the Laurier Activities by encouraging them to disclose multiple incidents earlier, to recall more details, and to mention more differences among occurrences. Age by condition interactions suggested, however, that incident-specific practice led to a larger increase in performance over other conditions for younger children, while older children tended not to differ significantly across conditions on many variables of interest. Differences in accuracy across conditions were not significant for either age group. Findings are discussed in terms of practical implications for field interviewers.

Convocation Year