Psykologisk Institut

Storying the Past and the Future Agency and Communion Themes Among Individuals With Schizophrenia and Depression

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Research has linked disturbances in narrative identity with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. One such disturbance is diminished agency and communion themes in past life stories. However, projecting oneself into the future is also central to identity and potentially impacts recovery. Hence, we examined themes of agency and communion in both past and future life stories and related themes to psychosocial functioning in 20 individuals with schizophrenia, 20 individuals with depressive disorder, and 19 nonpsychiatric controls. Participants were asked to describe up to 10 past and future chapters in their life stories and were assessed on psychosocial functioning and neurocognition. Chapters were coded for agency and communion themes. Both clinical groups displayed diminished agency and communion themes in past but not future life story chapters compared with the nonpsychiatric controls. Furthermore, agency themes in future chapters explained variance in psychosocial functioning after controlling for neurocognition. The results suggest that constructing a narrative identity to foster agency and communion in both past and future chapters may be an important part of recovering from schizophrenia and depression.
TidsskriftJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Sider (fra-til)343-352
StatusUdgivet - maj 2021

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