The coherence of autobiographical narratives is suggested to be reflective of individuals' mental health. However, inconsistencies in results are regularly observed. Therefore, in this study, the Narrative Coherence Coding Scheme (NaCCS) by Reese et al. (Journal of Cognition and Development, 12, 424–462) was deconstructed and every dimension of coherence was recoded into singular constituting subcomponents. Our new fine-grained scoring scheme allowed us to investigate which particular subcomponents of coherence may be important in the relation to mental health. Data showed that both structural as well as thematic elements of coherence, with in particular the number of emotional elaborations, were important in the association with mental health. Therefore, we recommend for future research to use this specific coding scheme, including most notably the number of emotional elaborations, in order to obtain the most accurate prediction of mental health, to test the replicability of these preliminary findings and to guide targets for narrative-based interventions.
- autobiographical memory
- narrative coherence
- psychological well-being
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)