• Narrative identity and agency: association between mood and psychological well-being

      Fitapelli, Brianna (2021-05)
      Narrative research is an evolving methodology that has been utilized in research and clinical practice. This study seeks to understand how the structure of narratives predict psychological well-being and mood, and how processing information in narrative form immediately affects respondents. A survey was created on Qualtrics and through an all-student email and social media, a recruitment script was advertised for individuals 18 years or older and English speaking. In this randomized, between-subject design, we gathered 289 complete datasets where one of three randomly assigned prompts asked the participant to write about a positive or negative event or list the foods they recently consumed. All narratives were coded for agency by the first author and 25% of narratives were also coded by one independent rater with an 86% agreement. Results indicated that participants who wrote about a positive life experience had higher levels of positive mood and agentic features. Further, higher levels of agency were associated with specific aspects of psychological well-being. The type of memory one recalls therefore may be beneficial for not only the self, but for relationships with others.
    • Narratives in psychology: a qualitative analysis of individuals’ life stories

      Fiakos, Kristina M. (2019-05)
      The researcher’s aim is to examine how individuals structure the narrative of their own life story and examine how this influences their own sense of identity and psychological well-being. This qualitative study involved two structured interviews, one with a 23-year-old white male and the other with a 56-year-old white female. Participants were sought through word of mouth and had minimal acquaintance to the researcher. Each participant participated in an in-depth semi-structured interview, where they were asked to narrate the story of their life. Interviews were coded both inductively and deductively to determine the nature of how these stories were articulated by the participant and their relationship to the participant’s well-being. It was found that the participant who had more redemptive sequences and themes of agency throughout their narrative had a stronger sense of identity within themselves and had a higher sense of life satisfaction. Being that there were only two participants, these results are not generalizable. However, they can be used as a reference for future research and forming hypotheses.