Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 531–545 | Cite as

A Retrospective Survey of Childhood Experiences

  • Krystine Irene BatchoEmail author
  • Andrea M. Nave
  • Meghan L. DaRin
Research Paper


The present study introduces a balanced survey of a range of behavioral and emotional experiences to assess impressions of a person’s childhood. Ninety-one undergraduates and 70 of their parents rated exposure to positive and negative social and solitary experiences. The survey demonstrated acceptable internal consistency and 4-week test–retest reliability, and scores correlated with Zimbardo’s Time Perspective Inventory of temporally based beliefs and values, Batcho’s inventory of personal nostalgia, and Holbrook’s measure of historical nostalgia. Correlations with time perspective and nostalgia inventories suggest that favorable impressions of childhood are associated with benefits such as social connectedness, personal continuity, and health-promoting behaviors and adverse impressions with less adaptive impacts such as unsatisfactory relationships, discontinuity, and distress. Ratings of social experiences were correlated more closely with childhood happiness than were solitary experiences. The Childhood Survey shows promise as a tool to expand the exploration of childhood experiences beyond adverse events to encompass components that comprise a happy childhood.


Happy childhood Nostalgia Time perspective 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krystine Irene Batcho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrea M. Nave
    • 1
  • Meghan L. DaRin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLe Moyne CollegeSyracuseUSA

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