Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Tiffany Hutchins


Autobiographical memory (ABM) is memory of the self. It is pervasive in our daily lives and subserves a range of social cognitive functions such as theory of mind (i.e., the capacity to understand and attribute mental states), self-concept, personal narrative development, and socio-cultural learning. Disruption of ABM can have enduring and detrimental developmental consequences which underscores the importance of early identification for the purpose of treatment planning. Currently, no normative measures exist to assess children’s ABM in a standardized and content-valid way. The purpose of this study was to complete the first steps in the development of a clinically useful caregiver-informant measure of children’s ABM (ages 5 – 18). I had two specific aims: 1) to develop a content-valid measure of children’s ABM and, 2) to pilot the measure in preparation for a subsequent large norming study. Following a comprehensive literature review, a team of doctoral students and an expert in ABM developed the Autobiographical Memory Inventory (ABMI) which consisted of 122 items designed to tap a broad range of ABM and ABM-related functions. The ABMI was deployed on a secured online platform and data for 24 primary caregivers were analyzed to identify any statistical signal in the data. Because statistical operations were underpowered in this pilot, only mean and effect size data were evaluated. The ABMI performed as expected: composite ABMI scores positively correlated with child age and distinguished children with and without a developmental disability (all effect sizes were small to moderate). During the pilot process, several items were identified for removal, and survey modifications were developed to improve the clarity and carefulness of participant responding. This study provides support for the further development of the ABMI. Future directions are described.



Number of Pages

87 p.