The purpose of this study was to phenomenologically explore and describe the influence family storytelling has on the formation and transference of beliefs. This study was a case study of one family who was identified as engaging in family storytelling. The participants were selected based on their participation in a 2004 pilot study, "A Phenomenological Examination of Family Recreational Storytelling." The results of the 2004 pilot study were analyzed for belief-centered themes. It was upon those themes that questions for this study were based. For this study it was hypothesized that: 1) storytelling strengthens family bonds and connections; 2) storytelling facilitates the creation of individual and familial beliefs; 3) these beliefs either facilitate or constrain the functioning capability of the family and its individual members; and 4) as this phenomenon is more fully understood, powerful interventions can be utilized by therapists and implemented in the field of marriage and family therapy. For the current study, it was concluded that family storytelling influences beliefs, which in turn affects individual action. Additionally, an individual's overall perspective on life is capable of being shaped by the tone and nature of the stories that children are told by their parents. Finally, this study provided insight into how clinicians can coach families to implement storytelling as a therapeutic intervention. Information regarding how parents used stories and the characteristics of the story, storyteller, and setting was outlined. How children used storytelling to form and establish beliefs was explored.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


Document Type





family, marriage and family therapy, storytelling, narrative therapy, beliefs, values, family bonding