Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Family History and Emotional Stability

The power of story was reinforced again by research published February, 23, 2010 in the Journal of Family Life, and online at http://www.journaloffamilylife.org/doyouknow. It shows one of the major reasons that the School Archive Project is so successful, by reinforcing the focus on family history and the recording of family stories, in ultimately helping students stay in school.  Here is the abstract:


Family stories are theorized to be a critical part of adolescents' emerging identity and well-being, yet to date we know very little about adolescents' knowledge of their family history and intergenerational family stories. In this study, we expand our previous findings that pre-adolescent children who know more about their family history display higher levels of emotional well-being. Sixty-six broadly middle-class, mixed race, 14- to 16-year old adolescents from two-parent families were asked to complete a measure of family history, the "Do You Know..." scale (DYK), as well as multiple standardized measures of family functioning, identity development and well-being. Adolescents who report knowing more stories about their familial past show higher levels of emotional well-being, and also higher levels of identity achievement, even when controlling for general level of family functioning. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.