He Taoka Kōrerorero The Role of Kāi Tahu Grandparent-Grandchild Communication in Positive Identity Development: A Qualitative Inquiry
Over the last three decades, research into the effects of mother-child reminiscing conversations on children's development has provided a significant insight into how the conversations we have as children impact our development into adolescence (Jack, MacDonald, Reese & Hayne, 2009). Recently, narrative research has extended to include intergenerational narratives and the possible impacts of intergenerational reminiscing on individual identity development (Merrill & Fivush, 2016; Reese, Fivush, Merrill, Wang & McAnally, 2017). This thesis presents a novel exploratory inquiry into how Kāi Tahu grandparents communicate with their grandchildren and how this in turn contributes to the grandchild’s sense of belonging within the Kāi Tahu tribe. Seven kaumātua (grandparents) aged between 52-71 years completed semi-structured, open-ended interviews with topics relating to the primary communication practices between themselves and their mokopuna (grandchildren). This included, the main methods of communication, topics of conversation and the context in which these conversations occurred. Additionally, grandparents also discussed the extent to which they believed conversations about family history and whakapapa influenced their grandchild’s’ sense of belongingness within the tribe. Thematic analysis of the results revealed six main themes. The first theme, ‘Kā kaupapa kōrero: Topics of conversation’, explores frequently reported topics of conversation among grandparents and grandchildren. The second theme, ‘Kā rautaki kōrero: Methods of communication’, addresses the impact of geographic location on grandparent-grandchild communication and the role of social networking sites in the grandparent-grandchild relationship. The third theme, ‘Kā horopaki: The context of grandparent-grandchild communication’, describes when and where conversations typically took place. The fourth theme, ‘Aoraki Matatū: Expressions of Kai Tahu identity’, examines the perceived importance of ancestral narratives on grandchildren’s sense of tribal identity and the role of the grandparent in their grandchild’s tribal involvement. The fifth theme, ‘Ka hokika maumahara: Reminiscing practices’ explores how often grandparents talk and reminisce about various events. The final theme, ‘He kākau aroha: A grandparent’s love’ describes how love was at the center of all grandparent-grandchild communication. The results of this study may help inform future narrative development and identity research.
Advisor: Reese, Elaine; Rewi, Poia
Degree Name: Master of Science
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Narrative; Identity; Development; Reminiscing; Maori; Kaitahu; Intergeneration; Grandparents; Positive
Research Type: Thesis