Self-development: A trajectory from family over school to friends?

Radka Antalikova, Tia G. B. Hansen, Manuel de la Mata Benitez, Andres Santamaria

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch

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The relationship between autobiographical memories and self-definition is important in many theories. Promising recent approaches from cross-cultural psychology use a concept of “self-construal” in which reference to others can be as important as indicators of autonomy. However, these studies typically ask for earliest memories only, whereas we would expect the roles of others to change over the course of development. Taking as premise that adolescents’ life unfolds in three concurrent settings - family, school, and friendship - we asked 66 adolescents (22 Norwegians in Study 1, and 40 Slovaks in Study 2) for a meaningful memory from each of these settings. All three settings are present in their current life, so all reported memories could have been recent. They were not. Friend memories were most recent and most frequently rehearsed, family memories least, and school memories in between. This pattern of meaningful memories, in terms of temporal distribution and propensity for rehearsal, suggests that friends represent “who I am and where I’m going” in adolescents’ self-construal, whereas family and school rather represent “who I was” some time ago and recently, respectively. Additionally, family memories displayed most relatedness and school memories least, with a partial return to relatedness in friend memories. The poster will summarize the study above (under review) and test the generality of the suggested trajectory by presenting new data from a larger Danish sample (N = x), which has just been collected and is presently undergoing analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventCongress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research - Rome, Italy
Duration: 5 Sept 201110 Sept 2011


ConferenceCongress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research


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