Narrative Development in Adolescence
Monisha Pasupathi and Kate C. McLean Where Have You Been, Where Are You Going? Narrative Identity in Adolescence How can we help youth move from childhood to adulthood in the most effective and positive way possible? This is a question that parents, educators, researchers, and policy makers engage with every day. In this book, we explore the potential power of the stories that youth construct as one route for such movement. Our emphasis is on how those stories serve to build a sense of identity for youth and how the kinds of stories youth tell are informed by their broader contexts - from parents and friends to nationalities and history. Identity development, and in part- ular narrative identity development, concerns the ways in which adolescents must integrate their past and present and articulate and anticipate their futures (Erikson, 1968). Viewed in this way, identity development is not only unique to adol- cence (and emergent adulthood), but also intimately linked to childhood and to adulthood. The title for this chapter, borrowed from the Joyce Carol Oates story, highlights the precarious position of adolescence in relation to the construction of identity. In this story, the protagonist, poised between childhood and adulthood, navigates a series of encounters with relatively little awareness of either her childhood past or her potential adult futures. Her choices are risky and her future, at the end, looks dark. Kate C. McLean is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She completed her Ph.D in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004. Monisha Pasupathi is an associate professor of developmental psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. She completed her Ph.D. in Personality Psychology at Stanford University in 1997, and subsequently served as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, until 1999.
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