Life Story Interview Paper

Life Story Interview Paper essay assignment

Life Story Interview Paper essay assignment


You will interview a person from the Lifelong Learning Program using Dan McAdams’ Life Story Interview and then write up your interviewee’s life story, imparting your analysis of the person’s experience based on content covered in class and your textbook.

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Required Textbook(s):   Cavanaugh, J.C., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2019). Adult development and aging (8th
ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning. 

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Part 1: The Life Story Interview (5 points)

We will use 2 class periods to interview your interviewee (see below for interview guidelines). In addition to taking notes, consider recording the interview so that you may refer back to it. Completing this part of the assignment is worth 5 points.


Due to the intimate nature of the interview topics, your interviewee may not feel comfortable answering certain questions and should not be pressured to respond. Furthermore, as an interviewer, you should refrain from commenting on the interviewee’s answers except for those responses that require active listening and empathy.

 Part 2: Write-Up and Analysis/Interpretation (50 points)

Write a paper on the interview:

  1. Open the paper with an introductory paragraph that covers basic background information:
Interviewee’s first name only- no last names to protect confidentiality


Age of interviewee (if person is comfortable with this- if not, use your best judgment to approximate)


Interviewee’s occupation
Relationship status of Interviewee- e.g., single, separated, divorced, married, cohabitating (only ask if person is comfortable with this; if not, omit).
Number of children (including stepchildren) and ages of children
Number of grandchildren and ages of grandchildren


  1. Compose your interviewee’s life story by relaying key memories or events in your interviewee’s life. You do not have to present every memory or life event, but the reader should get the sense of the interviewee’s life and the history behind his/her values, behavior, and current life stage. This section should be approximately 500-750 words.
  2. In the next section of your paper, write a summary discussing three separate issues which were mentioned in the interview and relate them to material from text, class content, and discussion. This section of the paper should be approximately 500-750 words.
    1. For example, you may connect content from your interviewee’s experience to the class and book information on wisdom, creativity, personality development, changes in relationships, health concerns, generativity versus stagnation, the role of religion, caring for grandchildren, career changes, psychological disorders, stereotypes, etc.
    2. Any topic covered in the text or class is available to you for this section of the assignment.
  • When you relate the interview content to the course, be sure to cite appropriately if using the text as reference. If you are referencing class discussion or lecture, you do not need to cite.
  1. Conclude the paper by identifying common themes that tie the events together and have shaped your interviewee’s experience. Is the interviewee’s story a simple or complex, interwoven one? What does this simplicity or complexity say about your interviewee’s experience? This section of the paper should be approximately 150-250 words.
  2. The paper should follow APA formatting for student papers, 7th