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The content of nostalgic memories among people living with dementia

Ismail, Sanda; Dodd, Emily; Christopher, Gary; Wildschut, Tim; Sedikides, Constantine; Cheston, Richard

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Authors

Sanda Ismail Sanda.Ismail@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Public Health

Emily Dodd Emily3.Dodd@uwe.ac.uk
Research Associate in Trial Co-ordinator

Tim Wildschut

Constantine Sedikides



Abstract

Although dementia may affect the reliability of autobiographical memories, the psychological properties of nostalgic memories may be preserved. We compared the content of nostalgic (n = 36) and ordinary (n = 31) narratives of 67 participants living with dementia. Narratives were rated according to their self-oriented, social, and existential properties, as well as their affective content. Social properties and affective content were assessed using a linguistic word count procedure. Compared to the ordinary narratives described in the control condition, nostalgic narratives described atypical events, expressed more positive affect, and had more expressions of self-esteem and self-continuity. They were also rated higher on companionship, connectedness and the closeness of relationships, and reflected life as being meaningful. Despite their cognitive impairment, people living with dementia experience nostalgia in similar ways to cognitively healthy adults, with their nostalgic narratives containing self-oriented, social, and existential properties

Citation

Ismail, S., Dodd, E., Christopher, G., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., & Cheston, R. (in press). The content of nostalgic memories among people living with dementia. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, https://doi.org/10.1177/00914150211024185

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 6, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2021
Deposit Date May 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 11, 2021
Journal The International Journal of Aging and Human Development
Print ISSN 0091-4150
Electronic ISSN 1541-3535
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/00914150211024185
Keywords Alzheimer’s disease; autobiographical memory; meaning in life; self-continuity; social connectedness; self-esteem
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/7341841

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