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My partner’s stories: relationships between personal and vicarious life stories within romantic couples

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In this paper, we examined relationships and differences between personal and vicarious life stories, i.e., the life stories one knows of others. Personal and vicarious life stories of both members of 51 young couples (102 participants), based on McAdams’ Life Story Interview (2008), were collected. We found significant positive relationships between participants’ personal and vicarious life stories on agency and communion themes and redemption sequences. We also found significant positive relationships between participants’ vicarious life stories about their partners and those partners’ personal life stories on agency and communion, but not redemption. Furthermore, these relationships were not explained by similarity between couples’ two personal life stories, as no associations were found between couples’ personal stories on agency, communion and redemption. These results suggest that the way we construct the vicarious life stories of close others may reflect how we construct our personal life stories.
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Keywords: APIM; Life stories; agency; close others; redemption sequences

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Autobiographical Memory Research (CON AMORE), Department of Psychology and Behavioral Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark

Publication date: November 26, 2018

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