University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring the Differences in Life Stories of Young and Middle-aged Adults

Büscher, P.A. (2019) Exploring the Differences in Life Stories of Young and Middle-aged Adults.

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Abstract:Over the course of their lives, people experience a lot of events that stand out for one reason or another. These events build up what is called an individual’s life story. This study aimed at discovering potential differences and similarities between the life stories of two demographic groups, young and middle-aged adults. In this qualitative multiple case study, four participants, two of which were in their twenties, and two in their forties, were interviewed using McAdams’ life story interview. These interviews were coded for a range of features, such as narrative sequences, including redemption or contamination sequences, coping strategies, focus, meaning whether stories were self- or other-focused, and overarching life themes. Overall, differences were found between the two groups in all domains except for coping strategies, for instance young adults had more self-centred life themes and told more stories that were self-focused than the middle-aged adults. In contrast, middle-aged adults’ life themes were more focused on other people and most of their stories were also about other people. These findings could most likely be explained by the age gap of the two groups and by the middle-aged adults being parents, hence taking increased care of their children and families.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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