Mapping the future of reminiscence: a conceptual guide for research and practice

Jeffrey Dean Webster, Jeffrey Dean Webster, Ernst Thomas Bohlmeijer, Gerben Johan Westerhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)
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Nearly 50 years after Butler’s seminal 1963 contribution, the field of reminiscence and life review is entering a more mature stage. Isolated examples of increasingly sophisticated studies have recently emerged that can serve as a sound, cumulative data base. However, the field lacks an overarching conceptual model describing emerging trends, neglected domains, and key linkages among component parts. In the present article, the authors selectively, yet critically, review prior limitations and promising developments and then describe a comprehensive, multifaceted conceptual model that can guide future research and practice. The authors initially situate their model within a particular theoretical orientation (i.e., life-span psychology). They then describe a heuristic model that identifies and discusses triggers, modes, contexts, moderators, functions, and outcomes. Finally, the authors illustrate how these interactive factors influence both theoretical and applied areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-564
JournalResearch on aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Reminiscence
  • METIS-270325
  • reminiscence functions
  • conceptual model
  • Development
  • IR-73288
  • autobiographical memory


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