During adolescence, peer relationships and friendships are relevant contexts for cognitive and social development [Bukowski, Newcomb & Hartup, 1996] and for future adult adjustment [Hartup & Stevens, 1999]. We also know that people, and particularly adolescents, by way of narration and autobiographic construction, can define and attribute meaning to their self and their relationships with others. Bruner and colleagues [Amsterdam & Bruner, 2000; Bruner, 2002] pointed out that individuals construct stories to attribute meaning and order to daily life events. By narrating one’s own story it is possible to organise episodic memory, to shape the recollection of events, and to build reality [Smorti & Pagnucci, 2003]. Specifically in friendship relationships, narrative autobiographic experiences represent specific interpretative modalities used by adolescents to give meaning to the self and the others within these relationships. In this study, which is based on adolescent narrations, we explored adolescent leisure-time behaviour in the company of friends, specifically on Saturday afternoons. We were also interested in identifying the self markers [Bruner, 1986; 1997], by which adolescents perceive themselves and others, and attribute meaning to their own experiences. Finally, we would like to investigate the relationship between the Self markers and some indicators of well-being (e.g. positive self-perception and expectations of success), social self-efficacy, adulthood (e.g. value of autonomy), and discomfort (e.g. feelings and sense of alienation). Participants included thirty adolescents (11 girls and 19 boys) aged 14 to 20 years (M= 15.8; D.S.= 1.4) attending two different types of high school (43% lyceum, 57% technical and vocational) in the northwest of Italy. The adolescents were asked to write a essay on the subject: “It’s Saturday…I’m going out with my friends”. We analysed the essays using thematic analysis of content as well as Bruner’s [1986; 1997] system of self markers. The following profiles summarise our findings. Most of the adolescents go out on Saturday and they have fun, talk, share convivial activities and sometimes also illegal activities (particularly boys) with their friends. Adolescents use frequently especially the Self markers of Agency (97%), Commitment (87%), Coherence (80%) and Social references (83%). Girls use the subjective aspects of Self markers, such as Qualia and Evaluation on the bases of expectations, more frequently than boys. Older adolescents use Agency and Resources more frequently than younger adolescents. Finally, Resources and Evaluation are related to positive self-perception and Social references is linked to Social self efficacy. This study has some limitations, such as the limited number of participants and the specificity of the essay, which make it impossible to generalise these findings to adolescent social life. Nevertheless, the findings can contribute to a better understanding of the meaning that peers and friends assume in adolescence.

It’s Saturday…I am going out with my friends”. Staying and spending time together in adolescent stories

RABAGLIETTI, Emanuela;CIAIRANO, Silvia
2009

Abstract

During adolescence, peer relationships and friendships are relevant contexts for cognitive and social development [Bukowski, Newcomb & Hartup, 1996] and for future adult adjustment [Hartup & Stevens, 1999]. We also know that people, and particularly adolescents, by way of narration and autobiographic construction, can define and attribute meaning to their self and their relationships with others. Bruner and colleagues [Amsterdam & Bruner, 2000; Bruner, 2002] pointed out that individuals construct stories to attribute meaning and order to daily life events. By narrating one’s own story it is possible to organise episodic memory, to shape the recollection of events, and to build reality [Smorti & Pagnucci, 2003]. Specifically in friendship relationships, narrative autobiographic experiences represent specific interpretative modalities used by adolescents to give meaning to the self and the others within these relationships. In this study, which is based on adolescent narrations, we explored adolescent leisure-time behaviour in the company of friends, specifically on Saturday afternoons. We were also interested in identifying the self markers [Bruner, 1986; 1997], by which adolescents perceive themselves and others, and attribute meaning to their own experiences. Finally, we would like to investigate the relationship between the Self markers and some indicators of well-being (e.g. positive self-perception and expectations of success), social self-efficacy, adulthood (e.g. value of autonomy), and discomfort (e.g. feelings and sense of alienation). Participants included thirty adolescents (11 girls and 19 boys) aged 14 to 20 years (M= 15.8; D.S.= 1.4) attending two different types of high school (43% lyceum, 57% technical and vocational) in the northwest of Italy. The adolescents were asked to write a essay on the subject: “It’s Saturday…I’m going out with my friends”. We analysed the essays using thematic analysis of content as well as Bruner’s [1986; 1997] system of self markers. The following profiles summarise our findings. Most of the adolescents go out on Saturday and they have fun, talk, share convivial activities and sometimes also illegal activities (particularly boys) with their friends. Adolescents use frequently especially the Self markers of Agency (97%), Commitment (87%), Coherence (80%) and Social references (83%). Girls use the subjective aspects of Self markers, such as Qualia and Evaluation on the bases of expectations, more frequently than boys. Older adolescents use Agency and Resources more frequently than younger adolescents. Finally, Resources and Evaluation are related to positive self-perception and Social references is linked to Social self efficacy. This study has some limitations, such as the limited number of participants and the specificity of the essay, which make it impossible to generalise these findings to adolescent social life. Nevertheless, the findings can contribute to a better understanding of the meaning that peers and friends assume in adolescence.
Psychology of Relationships
Nova Science Publishers
281
302
9781606922651
Adolescence; friendships; narration; self-markers
Rabaglietti E.; Ciairano S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/45292
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