What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

STUDIES SHOW FEMALE TEENS TELL MORE DESCRIPTIVE STORIES

     Home  >  Articles  > News & Tips: Health
by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: understanding your child's transition into adulthood, females tend to reflect on past esperience, narratives show how teen interperate memories,


When you ask your teen to tell you about your day, does your son tell you a short, not-so-descriptive story while your daughter tells a more descriptive story that includes internal emotions? A study conducted at the University of Missouri shows this is common in teens.

teen girl talking to motherDuring 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,” says Jennifer Bohanek, assistant professor of psychological sciences in the University of Missouri 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.”

Bohanek and her colleagues found that females tended to tell longer, more coherent stories. Females’ stories were also generally more detailed and contained more descriptions of their own internal emotional states. Males’ stories tended to be more matter-of-fact and showed less self-reflection. These differences were consistent in both positive and negative stories. The researchers suggested that the gender differences may indicate females have a greater inclination to reflect on past experiences and use their memories to give personal meaning to past events.

To conduct her study, Bohanek and her colleagues asked 65 adolescents between 13 and 16 years of age to narrate two positive and two negative stories. The teens came from racially and economically diverse backgrounds. The study was conducted in the teens’ homes by one or two female research assistants. The teens’ stories were then analyzed for coherence, theme, narrative development, and self-reflection.

“Our study filled an important gap in the research on autobiographical narratives,” Bohanek says. “Previous studies looked at gender differences in children’s and adults’ storytelling. Other research has found there are differences in the ways parents tell stories to male and female children as well as differences in how emotional content was explained. Other studies found that families talked about past events every five minutes on average, so reflecting on the past seems to have an important influence on family relationships. Our study suggests that these interactions may affect adolescents as they develop their own definition of themselves.”

The study, “Gender Differences in Adolescents’ Autobiographical Narratives,” was published in the Journal of Cognition and Development. Lead author was Robyn Fivush of Emory University. Co-authors were Widaad Zaman of Emory University and Sally Grapin of Brown University.

Also see:

Teens Say Parents Most Influence Their Decisions About Sex

Prevent Osteoporosis in Teens: Monitor Bone Development

What Vaccines Do My Tween/Teen Need?

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More News & Tips: Health Articles

Fresh Meadows Urgent Care Center Adds Dental Office

8 Things to Know About Summer and Senior Citizens
12 Things to Consider When Buying Sunglasses
Tips for Treating Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
Q&A with Tina Traster, Mother of an Adopted Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local News & Tips: Health Sponsors

Congregation Beth Elohim Summer Camp
274 Garfield Place
Park Slope, NY
718-768-3814
Congregation Beth Elohim has a Summer Camp program...

Children's Acting Academy
131 W. 72nd St.
New York, NY
212-860-7101
Do you want your child to learn acting & singing w...

Marcia the Musical Moose
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
212-567-0682
Guitar, Magic & Puppet Show! Specializing in ages ...

Cross County Shopping Center
8000 Mall Walk
Yonkers, NY
914-968-9570
Cross County Shopping Center is Westchester County...

Cakes by Magic Dream Parties
Forest Hills, NY
212-470-8489
MAGIC DREAMS CAKES If you can dream it, we can ba...
See Our News & Tips: Health Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE