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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Berntsen, D., & Rubin, D. C. (2004). Cultural life scripts structure recall from autobiographical memory. Memory & Cognition, 32, 427–442. https://doi.org/10.3758/bf03195836.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bruner, J. S. (1973). Beyond the information given: Studies in the psychology of knowing. New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bruner, J. S. (1984). Vygotsky's zone of proximal development: The hidden agenda. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1984(23), 93–97. https://doi.org/10.1002/cd.23219842309.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bruner, J. S. (1987). Life as narrative. Social Research, 54, 11–32. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190256654.003.0001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Butler, E. A., & Randall, A. K. (2013). Emotional coregulation in close relationships. Emotion Review, 5, 202–210. https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073912451630.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Cole, P. M., Armstrong, L. M., & Pemberton, C. K. (2010). The role of language in the development of emotion regulation. In S. D. Calkins & M. A. Bell (Eds.), Child development at the intersection of emotion and cognition (pp. 59–77). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/12059-004.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Elibol-Pekaslan, N., & Sahin Acar, B. (2018). Do mothers and adolescents use autobiographical memories in a functional way during reminiscing? Poster presented at the conference “Autobiographical Memory and the Self”, ConAmore Center, Aarhus University.

  9. Fasulo, A. (2019). A different conversation: The autistic self and narrative psychology. This issue.

  10. Feldman, C. F. (1991). I generi letterari come modelli mentali. In M. Ammaniti & D. N. Stern (Eds.), Rappresentazioni e narrazioni (pp. 113–131). Bari, IT: Laterza.

  11. Feldman, C. F., Bruner, J., Renderer, B., & Spitzer, S. (1990). Narrative comprehension. In B. K. Britton & A. D. Pellegrini (Eds.), Narrative thought and narrative language (pp. 1–78). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Feldman, C., Bruner, J., Kalmar, D., & Renderer, B. (1993). Plot, plight, and dramatism: Interpretation at three ages. Human Development, 36, 327–342. https://doi.org/10.1159/000278220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Fivush, R., Haden, C. A., & Reese, E. (2006). Elaborating on elaborations: Role of maternal reminiscing style in cognitive and socioemotional development. Child Development, 77, 1568–1588. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00960.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Fivush, R., McDermott Sales, J., & Bohanek, J. G. (2008). Meaning making in mothers’ and children's narratives of emotional events. Memory, 16, 579–594. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658210802150681.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Ford, B. Q., & Mauss, I. B. (2015). Culture and emotion regulation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 3, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2014.12.004.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  16. Gavazzi, I. G., & Calvino, E. (2004). Competenze comunicative e linguistiche: aspetti teorici e concezioni evolutive. Milan, IT: Franco Angeli.

  17. Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1996). Parental meta-emotion philosophy and the emotional life of families: Theoretical models and preliminary data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 243–268. https://doi.org/10.1037//0893-3200.10.3.243.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Graneist, A., & Habermas, T. (2018). Narrating emotions: How cognitive verbs take over from emotion words in adolescence. In Manuscript submitted for publication.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Grazani, I., & Brockmeier, J. (2019). Language games and social cognition: Revisiting Bruner. This issue.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Habermas, T. (2007). How to tell a life: The development of the cultural concept of biography across the lifespan. Journal of Cognition and Development, 8, 1–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/15248370709336991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Habermas, T. (2019). Emotion and narrative: Perspectives in autobiographical storytelling. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Habermas, T., & Reese, E. (2015). Getting a life takes time: The development of the life story in adolescence and its precursors. Human Development, 58, 172–202. https://doi.org/10.1159/000437245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Habermas, T., Negele, A., & Brenneisen Mayer, F. (2010). Honey, you’re jumping about“ - mothers’ scaffolding of their children’s and adolescents’ life narration. Cognitive Development, 25, 339–351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.08.00.

  24. Holodynski, M., & Friedlmeier, W. (2005). Development of emotions and emotion regulation. Berlin. Heidelberg: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Iannaccone, A., Perret-Clermont, A.-N., & Convertini, J. (2019). Children as investigators of Brunerian “possible worlds”: The role of narrative scenarios in children’s argumentative thinking. This issue.

  26. Klimes-Dougan, B., Brand, A. E., Zahn-Waxler, C., Usher, B., Hastings, P. D., Kendziora, K., & Garside, R. B. (2007). Parental emotion socialization in adolescence: Differences in sex, age and problem status. Social Development, 16, 326–342. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00387.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Köber, C., Schmiedek, F., & Habermas, T. (2015). Characterizing lifespan development of three aspects of coherence in life narratives: A cohort-sequential study. Developmental Psychology, 51, 260–275. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038668.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Lilgendahl, J. P., & McAdams, D. P. (2011). Constructing stories of self-growth: How individual differences in patterns of autobiographical reasoning relate to well-being in midlife. Journal of Personality, 79, 391–428. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00688.x.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. McKeough, A., & Genereux, R. (2003). Transformation in narrative thought during adolescence: The structure and content of story compositions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(3), 537–552. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.95.3.537.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. McLean, K. C., & Mansfield, C. D. (2012). The co-construction of adolescent narrative identity: Narrative processing as a function of adolescent age, gender, and maternal scaffolding. Developmental Psychology, 48, 436–447. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025563.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Pals, J. L. (2007). Selves creating stories creating selves: A process model of self-development. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 262–278. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868307301034.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Nicolopoulou, A., & Richner, A. S. (2007). From actors to agents to persons: The development of character representation in young children's narratives. Child Development, 78, 412–429. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01006.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Öner, S., & Gülgöz, S. (2018). Autobiographical remembering regulates emotions: A functional perspective. Memory, 26, 15–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2017.1316510.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Oppenheim, D., Koren-Karie, N., & Sagi-Schwartz, A. (2007). Emotion dialogues between mothers and children at 4.5 and 7.5 years: Relations with children's attachment at 1 year. Child Development, 78, 38–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Pascuzzi, D., & Smorti, A. (2017). Emotion regulation, autobiographical memories and life narratives. New Ideas in Psychology, 45, 28–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2016.12.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Pasupathi, M., Billitteri, J., Mansfield, C. D., Wainryb, C., Hanley, G. E., & Taheri, K. (2015). Regulating emotion and identity by narrating harm. Journal of Research in Personality, 58, 127–136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2015.07.003.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. Pennebaker, J. W. (2011). The secret life of pronouns. In The secret life of pronouns. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Reeck, C., Ames, D. R., & Ochsner, K. N. (2016). The social regulation of emotion: An integrative, cross-disciplinary model. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20, 47–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.09.003.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Sher-Censor, E., Koren-Karie, N., Getzov, S., & Rotman, P. (2018). Mother–adolescent dialogues and adolescents' behavior problems in a multicultural sample: The mediating role of representations. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 28, 211–228. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12327.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. de Silveira, C., & Habermas, T. (2011). Narrative means to manage responsibility in life narratives across adolescence. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 172, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2010.503254.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Smetana, J. G., Metzger, A., Gettman, D. C., & Campione-Barr, N. (2006). Disclosure and secrecy in adolescent-parent relationships. Child Development, 77, 201–217. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00865.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Smorti, A. (2004). Narrative strategies for interpreting stories with incongruent endings. Narrative Inquiry, 14, 141–167. https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.14.1.07smo.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Smorti, A., & Fioretti, C. (2016). Why narrating changes memory: A contribution to an integrative model of memory and narrative processes. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 50, 296–319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-015-9330-6.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Thorne, A., Cutting, L., & Skaw, D. (1998). Young adults' relationship memories and the life story: Examples or essential landmarks? Narrative Inquiry, 8, 237–268. https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.8.2.02tho.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Wainryb, C., Pasupathi, M., Bourne, S., & Oldroyd, K. (2018). Stories for all ages: Narrating anger reduces distress across childhood and adolescence. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication, 54(March 2018), 1072–1085. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000495.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Wang, Q. (2001). “Did you have fun?”: American and Chinese mother–child conversations about shared emotional experiences. Cognitive Development, 16, 693–715. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0885-2014(01)00055-7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., & Skinner, E. A. (2011). The development of coping across childhood and adolescence: An integrative review and critique of research. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025410384923.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Zittoun, T. (2006). Transitions: Symbolic resources in development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alice Graneist.

Ethics declarations

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.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Graneist, A., Habermas, T. Beyond the Text Given: Studying the Scaffolding of Narrative Emotion Regulation as a Contribution to Bruner and Feldman’s Cultural Cognitive Developmental Psychology. Integr. psych. behav. 53, 644–660 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-019-9474-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Scaffolding
  • Narrative emotion regulation
  • Narrative development
  • Adolescence
  • Coping