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Dev Psychol. 2009 Mar;45(2):558-74. doi: 10.1037/a0014431.

The development of narrative identity in late adolescence and emergent adulthood: the continued importance of listeners.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 54112, USA. pasupath@psych.utah.edu

Abstract

Research on narrative identity in late adolescence and early adulthood has not extensively examined how conversational storytelling affects the development of narrative identity. This is a major gap, given the importance of this age period for narrative identity development and the clear importance of parent-child conversations in the development of narrative identity. The authors present a series of 3 studies (n = 220) examining how late adolescents and early adults construct narrative identity in ways that are shaped by their listeners. The findings suggest that late adolescents and early adults construct more meaning-laden, interpretive accounts of their everyday experiences when they converse with responsive friends. Further, even within this sample's abbreviated age range, the authors found evidence for age-related increases in the factual content of personal memories. Such findings illuminate the importance of friends in the construction of narrative identity during this key developmental period.

PMID:
19271839
DOI:
10.1037/a0014431
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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