An Examination of the Narrative Development of First-Year Psychology Students
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Emerging adulthood is defined largely by two factors: its changeability and the focus on identity construction. The current trend towards increasing frequency of post-secondary education means that a major event in which these factors manifest with regard to is attending university. University is a time of increasing personal independence and identity development. Despite its contribution to individuation, university has come to be seen by many as the default, with alternative choices often being viewed in contrast with this default option—“if not university, then what?” At the same time, the negotiation of university has implications for future earning potential. Stories provide a unique and useful perspective for understanding the role of university studies in adult development. Stories are inherently about transition, as well as simultaneously being a thing-in-themselves and a metaphor. As a result, the study of the fluid, contradictory, metaphorical yet real, transitional yet discrete, stage of life development associated with commencing university studies is particularly well-suited to being studied through the stories individuals and groups tell about themselves and their experiences.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
School of Applied Psychology
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