The intergenerational congruence of mothers' and preschoolers' narrative affective content and narrative coherence

Efrat Sher-Censor, Izabela Grey, Tuppett M. Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intergenerational congruence of mothers' and preschoolers' narratives about the mother-child relationship was examined in a sample of 198 Hispanic (59.1%), Black (19.2%), and White (21.7%) mothers and their preschool child. Mothers' narratives were obtained with the Five Minute Speech Sample and were coded for negative and positive affective content and narrative coherence. Preschoolers' narratives were collected with the MacArthur Story Stem Battery and were coded for the portrayal of the mother-child relationship and narrative coherence. Across ethnoracial groups, maternal narrative coherence, but not narrative affective content, was related to preschoolers' positive portrayal of the mother-child relationship. Our findings highlight the importance of maternal narrative coherence for understanding intergenerational continuity of relational representations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1R03HD065036-01A) to Drs. Yates and Sher-Censor, and from the National Science Foundation (0951775) to Dr. Yates. We express our sincere gratitude to the children and parents who participated in this research.


  • MacArthur Story Stem Battery
  • coherence
  • expressed emotion
  • five minute speech sample
  • intergenerational congruence
  • narratives
  • parent-child relations
  • preschool
  • representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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