INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY AND FAMILY NARRATIVES - RESEARCH PROPOSALS
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Family provides the child with an image of reality, a distinctive structure of meaning contained in family narratives. By internalising those meanings, the individual constructs his/her self-image. In that context, the formation of self-identity may be defined as the result of inhabiting the world of meanings specific to a given family, and the family as the primary semantic environment. The purpose of the present studies was to explore the structural determinants of personal family narratives which modify family narratives, and, consequently, individual narrative schema. The first study examined the mothers' narratives about their newborn babies and the relationships between their structure and the extent of the mothers' cognitive individuation. The second analysed the narratives about the characteristics of particular persons in families of varied cohesion. Results demonstrated that the specificity of personal family narratives is clearly related to the following variables: family cohesion is related primarily to changes in evaluation and the cognitive complexity of characteristics, while the level of mother's cognitive separation - with the pattern of mother-child interactions.
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