Narratives in psychology: a qualitative analysis of individuals’ life stories
Fiakos, Kristina M.
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SubjectResearch Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology; Qualitative research; Redemption; Contamination; Coherence; Communion; Agency; Narrative identity; Mental health
The researcher’s aim is to examine how individuals structure the narrative of their own life story and examine how this influences their own sense of identity and psychological well-being. This qualitative study involved two structured interviews, one with a 23-year-old white male and the other with a 56-year-old white female. Participants were sought through word of mouth and had minimal acquaintance to the researcher. Each participant participated in an in-depth semi-structured interview, where they were asked to narrate the story of their life. Interviews were coded both inductively and deductively to determine the nature of how these stories were articulated by the participant and their relationship to the participant’s well-being. It was found that the participant who had more redemptive sequences and themes of agency throughout their narrative had a stronger sense of identity within themselves and had a higher sense of life satisfaction. Being that there were only two participants, these results are not generalizable. However, they can be used as a reference for future research and forming hypotheses.
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