My life as a pupil: The autobiographical memories of adolescents excluded from school

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Narrative psychology is founded on the premise that substantial insight can be gained into individuals' self-understanding and behaviour by studying the content of their autobiographical memories. This article contributes to this field of inquiry by suggesting that our understanding of adolescents’ exclusion from mainstream education can be enhanced by examining their recollections of school using a narrative dialogical approach. In a research project the autobiographical memories of fifteen female and twenty male students, aged 15–16 years, who had been excluded from secondary schools in London, England were collected and analysed. The aim was to examine how in their narrated depictions of the past, the adolescents explained and justified their position and behaviour at different times in their lives at school. The findings highlight how adolescents perceive themselves to have become positioned by the voices of significant others, schools as institutions and themselves at earlier or later stages in their lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescence
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Adolescence
  • Dialogical self
  • Narrative psychology
  • School exclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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