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Laney Graduate School

Emory College

Emory Libraries

Birth narratives as indicators of psychosocial functioning in adolescents and families

Andrews-McClymont, Jennifer Gray (2011)
Dissertation (110 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Duke, Marshall P
Committee Members: Wolff, Phillip ; Nygaard, Lynne ; Fivush, Robyn ; Nowicki Jr., Stephen
Research Fields: Psychology, General; Psychology, Developmental
Keywords: narrative psychology; birth narratives; adolescent psychosocial outcomes
Program: Laney Graduate School, Psychology
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/929x3

Abstract

Abstract
Narratives reflect a great deal about who we are as individuals. Countless
studies have shown that the way we write and speak about our past reveals
valuable information about our identity and well-being. Birth narratives have
remained largely unstudied, especially from the perspective of the child. It was
proposed in this study to look at a collection of birth narratives from adolescents
between the ages of 14 and 16 to examine variables such as elaboration,
coherence, internal states, and connectedness within the narratives and to
assess their relationship to outcome variables such as self-esteem and family
functioning. Previous studies have shown that the way narratives are discussed
and written pertains to psychological well-being, and it was predicted that more
coherent and elaborative birth narratives, as well as those revealing more
connectedness and internal states language, would relate to higher psychosocial
functioning on both the individual and familial levels. There was some evidence
for these relations. Gender differences along these narrative variables were also
predicted, and the evidence was very strong in support of these. Limitations,
applications, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………1
Hypotheses……………………………………………………………………………..11
Method………………………………………………………………………………….17
Participants……………………………………………………………………………..17
Procedures……………………………………………………………………………..18
Measures……………………………………………………………………………….18
Coding…………………………………………………………………………………..21
Reliability………………………………………………………………………………..23
Results………………………………………………………………………………….23
Relations between narrative variables………………………………………………24
Relations between outcome measures……………………………………………...27
Relations between narrative variables and outcome measures………………….29
Discussion………………………………………………………………………………31
Relations between narrative variables………………………………………………32
Gender differences in birth narratives……………………………………………….36
Relations among outcome measures………………………………………………..40
Relations between narratives and well-being……………………………………....43

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