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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
McLean, Kate C.
Schudlich, Tina Dawn Du Rocher
The aim of the present study was to examine the family narratives of emerging adults. While previous studies have found that interpretative narrative content in adolescents' family narratives is related to identity development, this relation has not been explored in emerging adulthood. One hundred and fifty-eight university students, most in their first year, were asked to provide written narratives of times for the family that were happy, difficult, or transitional, as well as a narrative about themselves commonly told by the family. I examined the relationship between interpretive processing and identity within and across these narrative types, controlling for family dysfunction and factual content, as well as examining moderation by gender and family dysfunction. Results showed that interpretive processing is uniquely important for the identity development of males, and post-hoc analyses revealed that this might be in part due to romantic relationship status. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of examining narrative prompts separately and the developmental implications of the unique relationship for young men as well as exploring the concept of a master family narrative within individual families and American culture.
Young adults--Psychological aspects, Young adults--Family relationships, Identity (Psychology), Gender identity, Families
Western Washington University
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Morrison-Cohen, Sarah, "The processing and content of family narratives in emerging adulthood: gender, family functioning, and associations with identity development" (2012). WWU Graduate School Collection. 220.