Robyn Fivush is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Emory University, where she has been on the faculty since 1984. She received her PhD from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York in 1983 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at San Diego from 1983 to 1984. She is a Fellow of both APA and APS. Her research focuses on the social construction of autobiographical memory and the relations among memory, narrative, identity, trauma, and coping. She has published over 150 books, book chapters, and articles, including her most recent book, Family Narratives and the Development of an Autobiographical Self.
Marshall P. Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory, is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Family Life and author of nine books and more than one hundred articles focusing on the family and other social learning networks. He is a member of the core faculty of Emory’s Center for the Study of Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL) and a Senior Faculty Fellow at Emory’s Center for Ethics. Over the years, he has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. His work has been written about in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Parents Magazine, and Time Magazine. During his 50 years at Emory, Professor Duke has served as Chair of the Psychology Department and has been honored to receive the Emory Williams Teaching Award, a Crystal Apple Teaching Award, and Emory’s highest award for service, The Thomas Jefferson Award.
In this first of a 4-part interview with Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke, professors of psychology at Emory University, they share with us their decades-long research exploring the impact of intergenerational narratives on children’s self-esteem and resilience. In this first interview they discuss the centrifugal and centripetal forces impacting families today and how critical storytelling is for our children’s well-being. Now, more than ever, families need storytelling to weather the changes besetting our society and our world.
In this second of a 4-part interview with Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke, professors of psychology at Emory University, they elucidate the kinds of stories that our children need to hear and how small, everyday stories can have a big impact our children’s development. They explain why these simple stories provide children a context for knowing who they are, how to live, and how to relate to the world around them.
In this third of a 4-part interview with Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke, professors of psychology at Emory University, they explain the psychological mechanism at play when we hear a story and how it allows us to make analogous connections that give children the ability to build a moral framework of behavior and give them a sense of their place in time and history.
In this fourth and last part of the interview with Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke, professors of psychology at Emory University, they explore the concepts of ascending and descending family storylines and their relevance for families today as they face the Pandemic. They also emphasize the importance of family rituals that create symbolic containers for the cyclical nature of life.