Submit a Manuscript to the Journal


For a Special Issue on

Family Storytelling across the Generations

Abstract deadline
01 September 2023

Manuscript deadline
01 January 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Robyn Fivush, Emory University
[email protected]

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Family Storytelling across the Generations

Guest Editors:

Robyn Fivush

Emory University

Jody Koenig Kellas

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Stories and storytelling are one of the primary ways that families and family members make sense of everyday as well as challenging events, create a sense of individual and group identity, remember, connect generations, and establish norms for family behavior. Parents begin reminiscing with their children as soon as they are born, whispering stories into infants’ ears about who they are and the family into which they have been born. As children develop, these stories become more complex in narrative structure, family history, and implicit and explicit meanings and expectations. In addition to stories about experiences the family has shared, families begin to tell more and more stories about parents’ own childhood experiences, grandparents’ experiences, and family legends.


Research on family storytelling has expanded significantly in the past two decades, and findings from multiple disciplines, including developmental science, communication studies, and oral history and cultural studies, have demonstrated the power of these stories to weave families together, to teach lessons and values, to help families cope with current difficulties, and to create an enduring family identity. Children and adolescents growing up with families that tell more elaborated, coherent, and positively framed family stories show better outcomes on a variety of socioemotional measures. Moreover, the way families tell stories (e.g., their engagement, perspective-taking, turn-taking) matter to individual, relational, and interactional health.


This special issue of Parenting: Science and Practice will provide a timely integration and framework for the study of (intergenerational) family storytelling. The issue will begin with a theoretical review that integrates multiple perspectives and provides an interdisciplinary framework, followed by commentaries by leading scholars in multiple fields. We seek empirical studies that focus on family storytelling especially as families use stories as ways to create family identity, connection, and coping. We are particularly interested in research that expands the current knowledge base to include more nuanced examinations of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, and their intersections, as they play a role in the motivations, processes, and products of family storytelling, as well as focusing on families facing current challenges, such as mental and physical health challenges, environmental challenges, and/or social structural challenges.

Submission Instructions

Abstracts for possible inclusion as empirical articles for this Special Issue should be submitted by September 1, 2023. Invited manuscripts will be due January 15, 2024.


Submit Abstracts to:

Robyn Fivush

Emory University

[email protected]

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