ERIC Number: ED337263
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Family's Construction of Past Stressors: Clues in the Measurement of Family Stories.
Esborg, Patricia K.; Reiss, David
This study investigated the ways in which families operate as a unit while presenting a story to an interviewer, and the ways in which they interface with the outside world, as represented by the interviewer. A description of the study is preceded by an overview of relevant literature, including studies that concerned microsocial analyses, shared family constructs, family stories, and research interviewing. The design of the study involved four steps. First, two stories about stressful family events were elicited from 44 families. The family as a group described to an interviewer how it reacted to the events. Second, a theory of family regulation as manifested through the storytelling process was constructed. Third, descriptors for evaluating family interaction were chosen. These included family communication, boundary maintenance, cohesiveness, vitality, flexibility, and humor. Fourth, a coding protocol for assessing levels of behavior, meaning, and memory in the storytelling process was developed. Dimensions coded included: (1) the family's self-presentation; (2) the family's relations with the outside world; (3) intrafamily connectedness; (4) story structure; and (5) family affirmation and closure. Family continuity was also assessed. At the time of presentation of this paper, preliminary data analyses were still proceeding. A reference list of 27 items is included. (BC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Family Crises; Interviewer Effects
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council on Family Relations (52nd, Seattle, WA, November 9-14, 1990).