NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1040654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1520-3247
Introduction: Development's Story in Time and Place
Schiff, Brian
New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, n145 p1-13 Fall 2014
In this introductory chapter, I place Bertram J. Cohler's ([Cohler, B. J., 1982]) seminal essay "Personal Narrative and Life Course" in the context of the history of narrative psychology and developmental theory. I describe four theses from "Personal Narrative and Life Course," which impacted developmental theory and research: (a) the self is a narrative project, (b) developmental periods have a distinct narrative character, (c) narratives are always told in (personal and historical) time, and (d) persons strive for coherence. I briefly describe the chapters to follow. However, my main goal is to argue for the implications of narrative for developmental science. Following Cohler, I argue that narrative has a central role to play in understanding human lives and can provide substantial benefit to developmental theory and research. A narrative perspective allows for a complex and nuanced description of developmental phenomena that accounts for the subjective and unpredictable nature of human lives. The narrative interpretation of experience is a primary human activity that alters the meaning of experience and potentially sets development on a new course, rendering the prediction of developmental outcomes a difficult venture. The narrative perspective provides detailed insights into how development unfolds, how persons actually interpret and reinterpret life in time and place, and can help psychologists to engage fundamental questions about the meaning of experience.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A