A developmental examination of the mood congruence effect in 6th- and 8th- grade adolescents
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Bias for recalling information consistent with mood, or the mood congruence effect, has been found using laboratory tasks with adolescents. In the current study, 81 adolescents and their mothers were recruited to investigate the mood congruence effect in everyday interactions. Mothers and adolescents discussed conflicts during videotaped sessions. Adolescents rated their mood, behavior, and maternal behavior after the discussions. Observers rated the videotapes and, along with adolescents’ perceptions of their relationships with their mothers, were controlled to determine whether mood biased adolescent ratings of behavior. Results supported the mood congruence effect for 6th and 8th graders. Eighth graders also exhibited stronger negative mood congruence effects than 6th graders. These results suggest the mood congruence effect is found in naturalistic conditions, and that negative mood biases strengthen during adolescence.