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ERIC Number: EJ855278
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-398X
Listening for Avoidance: Narrative Form and Defensiveness in Adolescent Memories
Nelson, Kristin L.; Bein, Edward; Huemer, Julia; Ryst, Erika; Steiner, Hans
Child Psychiatry and Human Development, v40 n4 p561-573 Dec 2009
We describe a linguistic clue to speakers' states of mind that has utility for psychotherapists and counselors, and summarize the theoretical and empirical support for using this clue in clinical practice. Specifically, we posit that the degree to which people relate stressful episodes from their lives as a chronological sequence of events is negatively associated with the extent to which they self-protectively avoid experiencing negative affect. We review relevant discussions and findings from linguistics and psychology, and then present a new study that replicates previous research. In this study of the relationship between defensive avoidance and the narrative structure of stressful memories in non-clinical adolescents, 168 high school students spoke for 10 min into a tape recorder about "your most stressful life event." Transcribed interviews were analyzed for narrative immersion, the extent to which the past is retold in chronological order, using a method adopted from Labov and Waletzky. A negative association was found between narrative immersion and avoidance (as operationalized by scores on the Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale). Listening for narrative immersion in the speech of clients discussing past stressful times may therefore represent a useful tool in exploring defensive avoidance of stressful episodic memories.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale