“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.