Parents have lives, too!
Adolescents’ and early adults’ narratives about their parents
The ability to tell one’s own, culturally valid life story emerges in adolescence — the process that has been metaphorically termed “getting a life”. Between early adolescence and the verge of adulthood, autobiographical stories gain broader temporal perspectives and show greater complexity. But do adolescents use the same narrative story structure when talking about their close ones, such as their parents? We analysed 348 texts written by adolescents and early adults concerning their parents. We demonstrated that, with age, communication changes from a descriptive, present tense format to complex life stories. We used specific indicators of narrative form: text structure, intentionality, temporal perspective, and point of view. Results indicate that early adults are more likely than are younger individuals to use narrative structure and content in their communication. We conclude that, by the end of adolescence, parents are increasingly given their own life stories in the voices of their children.
Keywords: parents, adolescents, narrative development, life story
Published online: 20 December 2016
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Cited by 1 other publications
Köber, Christin & Tilmann Habermas
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