Family narratives about the shared past may be a particularly significant site for preadolescents’ emerging sense of self both as an individual and as a member of a unified family. We examined the relations between family narrative interaction style when reminiscing and preadolescents’ sense of self. Results indicated three narrative interaction styles that describe the extent to which families discuss or fail to discuss their past in integrated and validating ways. Specifically, conversations with a coordinated perspective incorporated information from all members and were related to higher self‐esteem, especially in girls. Conversations with an individual perspective, in which family members took turns telling their thoughts and feelings about the event without integration among the perspectives, were associated with a more external locus of control, especially in boys. Conversations with an imposed perspective, in which one family member was in charge of the conversation or in which unpleasant exchanges between members occurred, were not associated with either self‐esteem or locus of control. Implications of these narrative interaction styles for children’s developing sense of self are discussed.
Bohanek, J. G., Marin, K. A., Fivush, R., & Duke, M. P. (2006). Family narrative interaction and children’s sense of self. Family process, 45(1), 39-54.