Adolescence is a period of self-concept development. In the current study, females aged 11-30 years (N = 210) completed two self-referential tasks. In a memory task, participants judged the descriptiveness of words for themselves or a familiar other and their recognition of these words was subsequently measured. In an associative-matching task, participants associated neutral shapes to either themselves or a familiar other and the accuracy of their matching judgements was measured. In the evaluative memory task, participants were more likely to remember self-judged than other-judged words and there was an age-related decrease in the size of this self-reference effect. Negative self-judgements showed a quadratic association with age, peaking around age 19. Participants were more likely to remember positive than negative words and there was an agerelated increase in the magnitude of this positivity bias. In the neutral shapes task, there were no age-related changes in the self-reference effect. Overall, adolescent girls showed enhanced processing of self-relevant stimuli when it could be used to inform their self-concept and especially when it was negative.
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