Beyond the Text Given: Studying the Scaffolding of Narrative Emotion Regulation as a Contribution to Bruner and Feldman’s Cultural Cognitive Developmental Psychology

  • Alice GraneistEmail author
  • Tilmann Habermas
Regular Article


Feldman et al. (Human Development, 36, 327-342, 1993) called for a new kind of psychology, a cultural cognitive developmental psychology. We critically consider their initial studies to discuss the scope of their program. In the spirit of this program we explore the development of scaffolding of narrative emotion regulation in adolescence. We present two co-narrations of sad events between mothers and their 12- and 18-year-old offspring to exemplify these mothers’ age-sensitive strategies to scaffold adolescents’ narrative emotion regulation. We identified three kinds of narrative arguments which mothers used for scaffolding and which are apparently acquired only in the course of adolescence: Embedding events in extended temporal, biographical contexts, relating events and reactions to individuals’ enduring personalities, and re-appraising events by including more others’, external, and hypothetical perspectives. They confirm developmental observations made by Feldman et al. (Human Development, 36, 327-342, 1993) and demonstrate their utility in the context of the development of emotion regulation.


Scaffolding Narrative emotion regulation Narrative development Adolescence Coping 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare to have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the central IRB of the German Psychological Society (DGPs), number TH 032014_rev, June 112,014.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGoethe University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt am MainGermany

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