Toward an Integration of Narrative Identity, Generativity, and Storytelling in African American Elders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


This review aims to investigate the link between narrative identity, generativity, and storytelling in African American elders. Storytelling has been a method of intergenerational communication and connection for a number of years in the African American community. Storytelling has also strengthened generative ties and intergenerational relationships. Erikson’s eight stages of psychological development are used to examine narrative identity and generativity. Research exploring the life experiences of African American elders is also presented. This article examines the current research on narrative identity and generativity and the African American experience, and makes suggestions for future endeavors in the field. It is recommended that future research consider the three—narrative identity, generativity, and storytelling—to better understand the experience of older African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-434
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Black Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • African American
  • elders
  • generativity
  • narrative identity
  • storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies

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