What He Said to Me Stuck: Adolescents’ Narratives of Grandparents and Their Identity Development in Emerging Adulthood

  • Michael W. Pratt
  • Joan E. Norris
  • Heather Lawford
  • Mary Louise Arnold
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


Jim (age 21): “My Mom’s father – my grandfather. A very independent guy, but a very caring guy. They (grandparents) go down to Florida every winter. And our family often goes down to spend some time with them. My grandpa really loves swimming in the ocean. So he would go out floating on his back for hours at a time…When I was younger, I used to stand on the shore and watch him float out. He would disappear and come back and ask me if I wanted to go out. I did once and people were worried because I was only ten. My parents and my grandma were concerned, ‘Oh, he’s too small,’ even though I was with my grandpa. But what he said to me stuck. What he said was I need to know my own limits, my abilities. Other people are going to have their opinions and worries and concerns, but being independent is taking that stuff into consideration, but then also doing what you can.”


Identity Development Authoritative Parenting Direct Quotation Intergenerational Relationship Intergenerational Relation 
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.



Preparation of this chapter and the research described herein was supported by Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants to the first, second and fourth authors and to Dan P. McAdams. The authors thank the adolescents and their families for their patience and support throughout this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael W. Pratt
    • 1
  • Joan E. Norris
    • 2
  • Heather Lawford
    • 3
  • Mary Louise Arnold
    • 4
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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