A Preliminary Assessment of Internal States and Well-Being Measurement through Birth Narratives Across Gender

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Abstract Summary

Previous research links autobiographical storytelling to both individual and familial psychosocial well-being indices. This study examines the relationship between measures of well-being and the stories families tell about one’s birth, known as birth narratives. The project will allow us to determine how well-being is expressed through basic recounting of stories and contribute to the research on measuring psychosocial well-being in college students. In particular, the study seeks to examine gender differences in how birth narrative occurences relate to familial well-being outcome data in a sample of 140 Spelman and Morehouse College students. Participants completed an online survey soliciting multiple stories, including birth narratives, and multiple outcome measures, related to family functioning. We hypothesized that more positive explicit and implicit emotions, would significantly correlate with indices of well-being in both samples. Additionally, we hypothesized that women will have more internal states language overall than men. Finally, we hypothesized that female college students would have more narratives with positive implicit and explicit emotions correlated with indices of well-being compared to the male college students.

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