Psykologisk Institut

Past and future life stories in adolescents with anxiety disorders: a comparison with community controls

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The ability to tell one's past life story and to imagine one's personal future serves important social and life defining functions like maintaining identity. In the present study, 34 adolescents diagnosed with anxiety disorders (age 9-17) and 34 community based controls wrote stories about their weekend, their past and future life stories and generated cultural life scripts. Cultural life scripts are culturally shared assumptions as to the order and timing of important life events. Adolescents in the anxiety group had less coherent past and future life stories compared to controls. Anxious adolescents also remembered their pasts as emotionally more negative than community controls, despite the fact that both groups described equally many negative experiences from their pasts. Anxious adolescents imagined their futures to consist mainly of positive events, however, they still expected their futures to be less positive than the control group, and their future life stories were more abstract and included fewer cultural life script events than the control group. Weekend stories did not differ in emotional tone and coherence between groups, suggesting that differences in past and future life stories are not due to differences in general narrative ability.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMemory
Vol/bind27
Nummer7
Sider (fra-til)998-1010
Antal sider13
ISSN0965-8211
DOI
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2019

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