Gendered Reminiscence Practices and Self-Definition in Late Adolescence

Gendered Reminiscence Practices and Self-Definition in Late Adolescence The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in the emotional construction of life-threatening events (LTEs) that were chosen as self-defining by late adolescents. European American college students (41 women, 25 men) whose average age was 19 were selected from a larger sample (n = 139) because they reported at least 1 LTE among 3 self-defining memories. Memory narratives were elicited with a questionnaire (Singer & Moffitt, 1991–1992) and coded for emotional position. As expected, tough, action-packed positions were more prevalent in men's narratives, and compassionate positions were more prevalent in women's narratives. Unexpectedly, narratives that emphasized one's own vulnerability (fear or sadness) were equally prevalent for men and women, and women's emotional discourse was more conditional upon type of event, i.e., deaths vs. assaults. Findings provide the most explicit evidence to date that some gendered reminiscence practices found in prior studies of children are reflected in late adolescents' self-defining reminiscences. Implications are also discussed for a more situated understanding of gendered reminiscence pratices and for theories of identity development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Gendered Reminiscence Practices and Self-Definition in Late Adolescence

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1020261211979
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in the emotional construction of life-threatening events (LTEs) that were chosen as self-defining by late adolescents. European American college students (41 women, 25 men) whose average age was 19 were selected from a larger sample (n = 139) because they reported at least 1 LTE among 3 self-defining memories. Memory narratives were elicited with a questionnaire (Singer & Moffitt, 1991–1992) and coded for emotional position. As expected, tough, action-packed positions were more prevalent in men's narratives, and compassionate positions were more prevalent in women's narratives. Unexpectedly, narratives that emphasized one's own vulnerability (fear or sadness) were equally prevalent for men and women, and women's emotional discourse was more conditional upon type of event, i.e., deaths vs. assaults. Findings provide the most explicit evidence to date that some gendered reminiscence practices found in prior studies of children are reflected in late adolescents' self-defining reminiscences. Implications are also discussed for a more situated understanding of gendered reminiscence pratices and for theories of identity development.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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