Advertisement

Patterns of Family Narrative Co-construction in Relation to Adolescent Identity and Well-Being

  • Robyn Fivush
  • Jennifer G. Bohanek
  • Kelly Marin
Chapter
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)

Abstract

In this excerpt, a family with a 12-year-old adolescent co-narrates a shared sad experience, the death of the adolescent’s great-grandfather. As this example points to, family narratives are a window into how families construct a shared sense of history, understand and validate each others’ emotions and create a sense of who they are as a family, and as individuals, in the present.

Keywords

Emotional Content Emotional Aspect Personal Narrative Expressive Writing Emotional Understanding 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research reported in this chapter was supported by the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life funded through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and was written in part as a contribution to an interdisciplinary project on The Pursuit of Happiness established by the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University and supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. We thank Mary Ukuku, Kelly McWilliams, and Amber Lazarus for help on all phases of this project.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for the cross informant program for the CBCL/4-18, YSR and TRF. Burlington, VT: University Associates in Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. Bauer, P., & Burch, M. (2004). Developments in early memory: Multiple mediators of foundational processes. In J. M. Lucariello, J. A. Hudson, R. Fivush, and P. J. Bauer (Eds.), The development of the mediated mind (pp. 101–125). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Bauer, P. J., Stennes, L., & Haight, J. C. (2003). Representation of the inner self in autobiography: Women’s and men’s use of internal states language in personal narratives. Memory, 11, 27–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bird, A., & Reese, E. (2006). Emotional reminiscing and the development of an autobiographical self. Developmental Psychology, 43, 613–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bohanek, J. G., Fivush, R., Zaman, W., Thomas-Lepore, C. E., Merchant, S., & Duke, M. P. (in press). Narrative interaction in family dinnertime conversations: Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Google Scholar
  6. Bohanek, J. G., Marin, K., & Fivush, R. (2008). Family narratives and adolescent’s self self-esteem and adjustment. Journal of Early Adolescence, 28, 153–176.Google Scholar
  7. Bruner, J. (1987). Life as narrative. Social Research, 54 11–32.Google Scholar
  8. Buckner, J. P. (2000). The self remembered: Examining individual differences in self-schemas and autobiographical memories. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Atlanta, GA: Emory UniversityGoogle Scholar
  9. Chafe, W. (1990). Some things that narratives tell us about the mind. In B. K. Britton & A. D. Pelligrini (Eds.), Narrative thought and narrative language (pp. 79–98). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  10. Collins, W. A., Gleason, T., Sesma, Jr. A. (1997). Internalization, autonomy, and relationships: Development during adolescence. In J. E. Grusec & L. Kucynski (Eds.), Parenting and children’s internalization of values: A handbook of contemporary theory. (pp. 78–99). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Denham, S. A. (1998). Emotional development in young children. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  12. Eisenberg, A. (1985). Learning to describe past experience in conversation. Discourse Processes, 8, 177–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Erikson, E. H. (1959/1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  14. Evangelista, N. J. (2001). Understanding the social and personal needs of the early school-aged child. In J. F. Carlson & B. B. Waterman (Eds.), Social and personality assessment of school-aged children: Developing interventions for educational and clinical use (pp. 207–228). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  15. Farrant, K. & Reese, E. (2000). Maternal style and children’s participation in reminiscing: Stepping stones in children’s autobiographical memory development. Journal of Cognition and Development, 1, 193–225.Google Scholar
  16. Fiese, B. H., Hooker, K. A., Kotary, L., Scwagler, J., & Rimmer, M. (1995). Family stories in the early stages of parenthood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 763–770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Finley, G. E., & Schwartz, S. J. (2006). Parsons and Bales revisited: Young adult children’s characterization of the fathering role. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 7, 42–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fivush, R. (1998). Gendered narratives: Elaboration, structure and emotion in parent-child reminiscing across the preschool years. In C. P. Thompson, D. J. Herrmann, D. Bruce, J. D. Read, D. G. Payne, & M. P. Toglia (Eds.), Autobiographical memory: Theoretical and applied perspectives (pp. 79–104). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Fivush, R. (2001). Owning experience: Developing subjective perspective in autobiographical narratives. In C. Moore & K. Skene (Eds.), The self in time: Developmental issues (pp. 35–52). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Fivush, R. (2007). Maternal reminiscing style and children’s developing understanding of self and emotion. Clinical Social Work, 35, 37–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fivush, R. (2008). Remembering and reminiscing: How individual lives are constructed in family narratives. Memory Studies, 1, 45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fivush, R., & Baker-Ward, L. (2005). The search for meaning: Developmental perspectives on internal state language in autobiographical memory. Journal of Cognition and Development, 6, 455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fivush, R., Bohanek, J. G., & Duke, M. (2008). The intergenerational self: Subjective perspective and family history. In F. Sani (Ed.), Individual and collective self-continuity (pp. 131–144). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  24. Fivush, R., Bohanek, J., Robertson, R., & Duke, M. (2004). Family narratives and the development of children’s well-being. In M. W. Pratt & B. E. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the lifecourse: Across time and generations (pp. 55–76). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Fivush, R., Brotman, M., Buckner, J., & Goodman, S. (2000). Gender differences in parent-child emotion narratives. Sex Roles, 42, 233–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fivush, R., & Buckner, J. P. (2000). Gender, sadness and depression: Developmental and socio-cultural perspectives. In A. H. Fischer (Ed.), Gender and emotion: Social psychological perspectives (pp. 232–253). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fivush, R., & Buckner, J. P. (2003). Creating gender and identity through autobiographical narratives. In R. Fivush & C. Haden (Eds.) Autobiographical memory and the construction of a narrative self: Developmental and cultural perspectives (pp. 149–168). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  28. Fivush, R., & Fromhoff, F. A. (1988). Style and structure in mother-child conversations about the past. Discourse Processes, 11, 337–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fivush, R., & Haden, C. (Eds.) (2003). Autobiographical memory and the construction of a narrative self: Developmental and cultural perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  30. Fivush, R., & Haden, C. A. (2005). Parent-child reminiscing and the development of a subjective self. In B. Homer & C. Tamis-LaMonda (Eds.), The development of social cognition and communication. Mahwah: NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Fivush, R., Haden, C., & Reese, E. (1996). Remembering, recounting, and reminiscing: The development of autobiographical memory in social context. In D. Rubin (Ed.), Remembering our past: Studies in autobiographical memory. (pp. 341–359). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fivush, R., Haden, C. A., & Reese, E. (2006). Elaborating on elaborations: Maternal reminiscing style and children’s socioemotional outcome. Child Development, 77, 1568–1588PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Fivush, R., Marin, K., Crawford, M., Reynolds, M., & Brewin, C. (2007). Children’s narratives and well-being. Cognition and Emotion, 21.Google Scholar
  34. Fivush, R., Marin, K., McWilliams, K., & Bohanek, J. G. (2009). Family reminiscing style: Parent gender and emotional focus in relation to child well-being. Journal of Cognition and Development, 10, 210–235.Google Scholar
  35. Fivush, R., & Nelson, K. (2004). Culture and language in the emergence of autobiographical memory. Psychological Science, 15, 586–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Fivush, R., & Nelson, K. (2006). Parent-child reminiscing locates the self in the past. British Journal of Developmental psychology, 24, 235–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Fivush, R., & Sales, J. M. (2006). Coping, attachment and mother-child narratives of stressful events. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 52, 125–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Fivush, R., & Vasudeva, A. (2002). Remembering to relate: Maternal reminiscing style and attachment. Journal of Cognition and Development, 3, 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fivush, R., Bohanek, J. G., & Duke, M. (2008). The intergenerational self: Subjective perspective and family history. In F. Sani (Ed.). Individual and Collective Self-Continuity (pp. 131–144). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  40. Frattaroli, J. (2006). Experimental disclosure and its moderators: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 823–865.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Friedman, A., & Pines, A. (1991). Sex differences in gender-related childhood memories. Sex Roles, 25, 25–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Friedman, W. J. (2000). The development of children’s knowledge of the times of future events. Cognitive Development, 71, 913–932.Google Scholar
  43. Friedman, W. J. (2004). Time in autobiographical memory. Social Cognition, 22, 591–605.Google Scholar
  44. Gauvain, M. (2001). The social context of cognitive development. NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
  45. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1996). Parental meta-emotion philosophy and the emotional life of families: Theoretical models and preliminary data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 243–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Habermas, T., & Bluck, S. (2000). Getting a life: The emergence of the life story in adolescence. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 748–769.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Harter, S. (1985). The self-perception profile for children. Unpublished manual, Denver, CO: University of Denver.Google Scholar
  49. Harter, S. (1999). The construction of the self: A developmental perspective. New York: The Guilford PressGoogle Scholar
  50. Hill, J. P. (1988). Adapting to menarche: Familial control and conflict. In M. R. Gunnar & W. A. Collins (Eds.), The minnesota symposia on child psychology: Development during the transition to adolescence (Vol. 21., pp. 4–77). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  51. Hochschild, A. R. (1979). Emotion work, feeling rules and social structure. American Journal of Sociology, 85, 551–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hudson, J. A. (1990). The emergence of autobiographic memory in mother-child conversation. In R. Fivush & J. A. Hudson (Eds.), Knowing and remembering in young children (pp. 166–196). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Kline, R. (2004). Beyond significance testing: Reforming data analysis methods in behavioral research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kreppner, K. (2002). Retrospect and prospect in psychological study of families as systems. In J. P. McHale & W. S. Grolnick (Eds.), Retrospect and prospect in psychological study of families as systems. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  55. Kroger, J. (2000). Identity development: Adolescence through adulthood. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  56. Kuebli, J., & Fivush, R. (1992). Gender differences in parent-child conversations about past emotions. Sex Roles, 27, 683–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Labov, W. (1982). Speech actions and reaction in personal narrative. In D. Tannen (Ed.) Analyzing discourse: Text and talk (pp. 217–247). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Laible, D. (2004a). Mother-child discourse surrounding a child’s past behavior at 30 months: Links to emotional understanding and early conscious development at 36 months. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50, 159–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Laible, D. (2004b). Mother-child discourse in two contexts: Links with child temperament, attachment security, and socioemotional competence. Developmental Psychology, 40, 979–992.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Laible, D. J. & Song, J. (2006). Constructing emotional and relational understanding: The role of affect and mother-child discourse. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 52, 44–69.Google Scholar
  61. Laible, D., & Thompson, R. (2000). Mother-child discourse, attachment security, shared positive affect, and early conscience development. Child Development, 71, 1424–1440.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. LeCroy, C. (1988). Parent-adolescent intimacy: Impact on adolescent functioning. Adolescence, 23, 137–147.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Linde, C. (1993). Life stories: The creation of coherence. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  64. MacDonald, S., Uesilianam K., & Hayne, H. (2000). Cross-cultural and gender differences in childhood amnesia. Memory, 8, 365–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Marin, K., Bohanek, J. G., & Fivush, R. (2008). Positive Effects of Talking About the Negative: Family Narratives of Negative Experiences and Preadolescents’ Perceived Competence. Journal of Research in Adolescence, 18, 573–593.Google Scholar
  66. McAdams, D. P. (1992). Unity and purpose in human lives: The emergence of identity as a life story. In R. A Zucker, A. I. Rabin, J. Aronoff, & S. J. Frank (Eds). Personality structure in the life course, (pp. 323–375). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  67. McAdams, D. P. (2003). Identity and life story. In R. Fivush and C. A. Haden (Eds.), Autobiographical memory and the construction of a narrative self: Developmental and cultural perspectives (pp. 187–207). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  68. McDaniel, S. G. (1999). It’s Bedlam in this House!: Investigating subjective experiences of family communication during holiday celebrations. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University.Google Scholar
  69. McLean, K. (2005). Late adolescent identity development: Narrative meaning making and memory telling. Developmental Psychology, 41, 683–691.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. McLean, K., Pasupathi, M., & Pals, J. (2007). Selves creating stories creating selves: A process model of self-development. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 262–278.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. McLean, K., & Pratt, M. W. (2006). Life’s little (and big) lessons: Identity statuses and meaning making in the turning point narratives of emerging adults. Developmental Psychology, 42, 714–722.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. McWilliams, K. (2007). Family Narratives, Elaborative Talk, and Pre-adolescent Well-being: Comparing emotion talk and non-emotion talk. Unpublished honors thesis, Atlanta, GA: Emory University.Google Scholar
  73. Nelson, K., & Fivush, R. (2004). The emergence of autobiographical memory: A social cultural developmental theory. Psychological Review, 111, 486–511.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1987). Sex differences in unipolar depression: Evidence and theory. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 259–282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Parke, R. D. (2004) Fathers, Families, and the Future: A Plethora of Plausible Predictions. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50, 456–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pasupathi, M. (2006). Silk from sow’s ears: Collaborative construction of everyday selves in everyday stories. In D. McAdams, R. Josselson, & Leiblich, A. (Eds.), Identity and story: Creating self in narrative (pp. 129–150). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Pasupathi, M., Mansour, E., & Brubaker, J. R. (2007). Developing a life story: Constructing relations between self and experiences in autobiographical narratives. Human Development 50, 85–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Pennebaker, J. W. (1997). Opening up: The healing power of expressing emotions. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  79. Peterson, C., & McCabe, A. (1982). Developmental psycholinguistics: Three ways of looking at a narrative. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  80. Pillemer, D. (1998). Momentous events, vivid memories. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  81. Pratt, M. W., & Fiese, B. H. (2004). Family stories and the life course: Across time and generations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  82. Reese, E. (2002). Social factors in the development of autobiographical memory: The state of the art. Social Development, 11, 124–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Reese, E., & Cleveland, E. S. (2006). Mother-child reminiscing and children’s understanding of mind. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 52, 17–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Reese, E., Haden, C. A., & Fivush, R. (1993). Mother-child conversations about the past: Relationships of style and memory over time. Cognitive Development, 8, 403–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Ricoeur, P. (1991). Life in quest of narrative. In D. Wood (Ed.) On Paul Ricoeur: Narrative and interpretation (pp. 20–33). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  86. Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Sales, J. M., & Fivush, R. (2005). Social and emotional functions of mother-child conversations about stressful events. Social Cognition, 23, 70–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Shaw, C. M., & Edwards, R. (1997). Self-concepts and self-presentations of males and females: Similarities and differences. Communication Reports, 10, 55–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Sherman, M. H. (1990). Family narratives: internal representations of family relationships and affective themes. Infant Mental Health Journal 11, 253–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Smyth, J. M. (1998). Written emotional expression: Effect sizes, outcome types and moderating variables. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 66, 174–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Steinberg, L., & Silk, J. S. (2002). Parenting adolescents. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol 1: Children and parenting (2nd ed., pp. 103–133). Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.Google Scholar
  93. Vacha-Haase, T., Nilsson, J. E., Reetz, D. R., Lance, T. S., & Thompson, B. (2000). Reporting practices and APA editorial policies regarding statistical significance and effect size. Theory and Psychology, 10, 413–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Vacha-Haase, T., & Thompson, B. (2004). How to estimate and interpret various effect sizes. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 473–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  96. Wamboldt, F. S., & Reiss, D. (1989). Defining a family heritage and a new relationship identity: Two central tasks in the making of a marriage. Family Processes, 28, 317–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Welch-Ross, M. (1997). Mother-child participation in conversations about the past: Relations to preschoolers’ theory of mind. Developmental Psychology, 33, 618–629.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Welch-Ross, M. (2001). Personalizing the temporally extended self: Evaluative self-awareness and the development of autobiographical memory. In C. Moore & K. Lemmon (Eds.), The self in time: Developmental perspectives (pp. 97–120). Mahwah, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robyn Fivush
    • 1
  • Jennifer G. Bohanek
    • 2
  • Kelly Marin
    • 3
  1. 1.Emory UniversityDruid HillsUSA
  2. 2.Center for Developmental Science, University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Manhattan College, RiverdaleNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations