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May 2022

Narrative performance predicts psychopathology: A preliminary demonstration

Author(s): Russell, R. L., Wandrei, M. L.

Journal/Book: J Narrative Life Hist. 1996; 6: 10 Industrial Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc. 87-105.

Abstract: The goals of this study were: (a) to test whether objective narrative variables can be reliably applied to commonly used clinical assessment tasks, (b) to assess the relative stability and differences in mean levels of narrative performance in participants' stories across assessment tasks, and (c) to assess the degree to which levels of psychopathology can be predicted by objective narrative measures. Stories were elicited from 31 substance abuse patients using 4 different narrative tasks. The 124 stories were coded using 5 measures that assess levels of structural connectedness, subjectivity, and complexity. Results, based on the reliably coded narrative measures, indicated that (a) participants displayed stable individual differences, whereas mean performance levels varied systematically across the story-elicitation tasks; and (b) a substantial amount of variance in depressive, anxious, and cognitive mediation symptoms could be predicted using these measures. Results are discussed in terms of the need to further develop objective measures of narrative performance and narrative assessment tasks.

Note: Article RL Russell, Loyola Univ, Dept Psychol, 6525 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626 USA

Keyword(s): psychology; PSYCHOTHERAPY; MEMORY; EVENTS; STORY; TEXT


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