Emerging Identities: Narrative and Self from Early Childhood to Early Adolescence

  • Elaine Reese
  • Chen Yan
  • Fiona Jack
  • Harlene Hayne
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


This chapter is about when and how we begin to draw meaning from important events in our lives. Although children may indeed “wake up” to a new level of self-reflection in adolescence, we will argue that these newfound realizations are built upon experiences and capacities that have been developing from early childhood. We will also propose that the ability to draw meaning from life events is present much earlier in development than previously assumed, at the very latest by early adolescence, and possibly even earlier.


Early Childhood Early Adolescence Past Event Autobiographical Memory Middle Childhood 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Shelley MacDonald and William Friedman for allowing us to use their datasets in the preparation of this chapter. We also thank Naomi White for her help with coding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine Reese
    • 1
  • Chen Yan
    • 1
  • Fiona Jack
    • 1
  • Harlene Hayne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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