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Revealing the Inner Worlds of Young Children: The MacArthur Story Stem Battery and Parent-Child Narratives

Overview

This book reports the work of a 20-year collaboration between a multidisciplinary group of clinicians and developmental scientists who have created and investigated a new tool to elicit and analyze children's narratives. This tool is the MacArthur Story Stem Battery, a systematic collection of story beginnings that are referred to as 'stems.' These stems are designed to elicit information from children about their representational worlds. This method is particularly exciting because using it allows developmental ...

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Overview

This book reports the work of a 20-year collaboration between a multidisciplinary group of clinicians and developmental scientists who have created and investigated a new tool to elicit and analyze children's narratives. This tool is the MacArthur Story Stem Battery, a systematic collection of story beginnings that are referred to as 'stems.' These stems are designed to elicit information from children about their representational worlds. This method is particularly exciting because using it allows developmental psychologists and others to gain information directly from children about their emotional states and what they are able to understand, and in turn, to use this information to explore significant emotional differences among children. This work will appeal to researchers and practitioners in developmental and clinical psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: The book describes the MacArthur Story Stem Battery, an assessment tool developed in the 1980s in order to better understand the inner world of young children. The test consists of 14 story stems and the child responds within a play therapy setting. This seems to follow in the psychoanalytic play therapy tradition.
Purpose: According to the editors, "this book reports the work of a research consortium that has assembled a new tool for eliciting a narrative that can reveal vivid aspects of a young child's inner world. The tool consists of a systematic group of story beginnings, enacted in play, and referred to as the MacArthur Story Stem Battery (MSSB). What is exciting to us is that most preschool children enthusiastically complete these story stems and, in so doing, they allow us access to their representational worlds, to what they understand, and to their inner feelings." Those are worthy objectives, and the book definitely meets them.
Audience: According to the editors, the target audience includes psychologists and other clinicians working with young children. I agree with the editors, but I think graduate students specializing in child psychology would gain much from this book. The editors and contributors are credible authorities in the field. In fact, the editors were very instrumental in the development and pilot-testing of this assessment tool.
Features: The book thoroughly describes the MacArthur Story Stem Battery (MSSB) and provides many case examples. It also provides narratives from abused children and those at risk. The book ends with mother-child dialogues, whose shared narrative revolve around emotionally-laden events. The book is good because it provides so many clinical examples. Readers will feel like they have a good understanding of this tool and how to use it and interpret in clinical situations.
Assessment: I really enjoyed this book because it achieves its end, i.e. describing the MacArthur Story Stem Battery. This tool is an excellent way of understanding the inner world of young children. The book is well-written and seems to cover many important facets of psychological functioning. It is must reading for anyone who is working with preschool age children, especially if he/she is working from a dynamic or psychoanalytic orientation.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195154047
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/16/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Clark University

University of Haifa

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Table of Contents

1. Early Narratives: A Window to the Child's Inner World, Robert N. Emde
2. Narratives of Emotional Experience: Their Nature and Development, Dennis P. Wolf
3. The MacArthur Story Stem Battery: Development, Administration, Reliability, Validity and Reflections about Meaning, Inge Bretherton and David Oppenheim
4. The MacArthur Narrative Coding System: One Approach to Highlighting Affective Meaning-making in the MacArthur Story Stem Battery, JoAnn L. Robinson and Linda Mantz-Simmons
5. Narrative Emotion Coding System, Susan L. Warren
6. The Structure of Five-Year- Old Children's Play Narratives within the MacArthur Story Stem Methodology, Kai von Klitzing, Kim Kelsay, and Robert N. Emde
7. Temperament and Guilt Representations in Children's Narratives, Nazan Aksan and H. H. Goldsmith
8. Children's Emotional Resolution of MSSB Narratives: Relations with Child Behavior Problems and Parental Psychological Distress, David Oppenheim
9. An Attachment Perspective on Children's Emotion Narratives: Links across Generations, Miriam Steele, Howard Steele, Matthew Woolgar, Susan Yabsley, Peter Fonagy, Dannie Johnson and Carla Croft
10. Emotional Apprenticeships: The Development of Affect Regulation During the Pre-School Years, Eva Appelman and Dennie Palmer Wolf
11. Portrayals in Maltreated Children's Play Narratives: Representations or Emotion Regulation?, Robert B. Clyman
12. Narratives in Risk and Clinical Populations, Susan L. Warren
13. Mental Representations and Defences in Severely Maltreated Children: A Story Stem Battery and Rating System for Clinical Assessment and Research Applications, Jill Hodges, Miriam Steele, Saul Hillman, and Kaye Henderson
14. The Mother-Child Co-Construction of an Event Lived by the Preschool Child: The Role of the Mother's Knowledge of "What Happened", Christine Gertsch Bettens, Nicolas Favez, and Daniel N. Stern
15. Patterns of Maternal Affect Regulation During the Co-Construction of Preschoolers Autobiographical Narratives, Nicolas Favez
16. Relationships and Interactions of Mothers and Metaplot with Three-Year-Old Kibbutz Children in Two Functional Contexts, R. Landau, Y. Eshel V. Kipnis, and M. Ben-Aaron
17. Dialogues of Seven-Year-Olds with Their Mothers about Emotional Events: Development of a Typology, Nina Koren-Karie, David Oppenheim, Zipi Haimovich, and Ayelet Etzion-Carasso
18. Affective Meaning Making among Young Peers in Narrative Co-Constructions, Ora Aviezer

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