Caroline S. Clauss-Ehlers* Pages 92 - 109 ( 18 )
Background: Autobiographical narrative (i.e., the process through writing or storytelling where one recalls life experiences and their impact on identity) has been found to effectively help adolescents cope with a range of medical and psychological issues.
Objective: The current study addressed the overall preliminary research question: How does implementing an autobiographical narrative approach promote resilience, psychological well- being, and ethnic identity among adolescents? A secondary study aim was to explore how central the memories evoked by each workshop were to participant identity. The study’s third goal was to promote life skill development and self-awareness through participation in the autobiographical narrative intervention.
Methods: The intervention incorporated a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework in its partnership with a community centre in Northern England. The intervention consisted of an 8-week autobiographical program with youth participants from working and lower middle-class backgrounds. Socioeconomic status was operationalized by self-report on a demographic data sheet completed by participants.
Results: Analyses indicated that participants viewed the events discussed in the 8-week program as being more central to their lives after their participation. Maladaptive coping appeared to decrease after participation in the intervention.
Conclusion: Results suggest interventions that incorporate an autobiographical narrative approach within a CBPR framework may promote positive outcomes among adolescents with limited economic resources.
Resilience, youth, autobiographical narrative, well-being, global adolescent mental health.
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey