Parents can use knowledge to help steer teens through life changes
COLUMBIA, Mo. — During adolescence, the stories young people tell about themselves reflects their development of a personal identity and sense of self, and those autobiographical narratives vary depending on the teens’ gender, according to a University of Missouri psychologist and her colleagues. Parents can use this knowledge of how teens talk about themselves to help understand the tumultuous transitions of their children into adults.
“Autobiographical stories tell us details about adolescent psychology that questionnaires and observations of behavior cannot,” said Jennifer Bohanek, assistant professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science. “Narratives provide information about how adolescents interpret memories as well as how they come to know themselves. Other people then come to know the teens by the stories they tell about themselves. The differences between study participants’ stories suggest there may be differences in the way male and female teens understand themselves and present themselves to the world.” (more…)