Dept.of Psychology - Ph.D. / Sc.D.

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Maternal discourse styles in the storytelling and reminiscing contexts in relation to preschoolers’ perspective-taking abilities
    (Bilkent University, 2023-06) Bürümlü Kısa, Elif; Ilgaz, Hande
    This thesis aimed to investigate a) whether Turkish-speaking mothers adopt distinct discourse styles across two common daily narrative contexts of storytelling and reminiscing? b) whether and how mothers’ discourse styles in each context would be associated with children’s visual, socio-cognitive, and syntactic perspective-taking (PT) abilities? One-hundred twenty mothers and their 3- to 5-year-old children participated in all study sessions. Each mother-child dyad was asked to narrate a wordless storybook and converse about a shared and specific event they experienced in the lab (‘Treasure Hunt’ game). Children’s vocabulary and perspective-taking abilities (visual PT, false belief understanding, comprehension of syntactic complementation) were assessed. Cluster analyses indicated two distinct styles of mothers when they narrated a storybook with their children (storytellers, story builders), whereas three styles of mothers were found when the same mothers talked about their Treasure Hunt memory (co-teller, elicitor, constructor). Maternal education, as well as children’s age and verbal contributions, were shown to play a significant role in mothers’ assuming a discourse style depending on the context. Children of storytellers scored higher in both visual and syntactic PT tasks than children of story builders. Children of memory elicitors also outperformed children of memory co-tellers in visual PT tasks. Implications and future directions are discussed within the sociocultural view that argues for the individually and contextually sensitive nature of maternal narrative scaffolding for preschoolers’ social understanding.
  • ItemOpen Access
    What makes individuals happy in daily life? From personal to relational well-being
    (Bilkent University, 2021-10) Bayraktaroğlu, Deniz; Besken, Miri
    Positive relationship events that allow meaningful interactions with the romantic partner or reminding oneself of these events are expected to improve well-being, while engaging in solitary activities without the involvement of romantic partner might have an adverse effect on well-being. To address the role of positive relational experiences (and lack thereof) on well-being, the current dissertation investigated three diverse but interrelated questions. The first empirical chapter focused on how average responsiveness and responsiveness variability are linked with personal well-being and attachment orientations, as a consistent predictor of relational well-being. Across three studies, we showed low average responsiveness as a consistent predictor of increases in both partner-specific and global attachment avoidance, while responsiveness variability did not predict partner-specific or global attachment anxiety, especially after controlling for covariates. In the second empirical chapter, results of one laboratory study and two studies involving daily diary and longitudinal assessments demonstrated that both positive affect following a positive face-to-face interaction with one’s romantic partner, and daily positive relationship events—and daily positive affect as the mediator were linked to decreases in partner-specific attachment avoidance. In the last empirical chapter, we focused on the direction of the link between watching TV—a solitary daily activity that might steal time from relational activities—and positive affect. We showed that duration of watching TV did not predict lower positive affect, but lower positive affect predicted longer duration of watching TV. Overall, this research enhances our understanding of how relational and solitary experiences contribute to personal and relational well-being.