Family Stories and Family Secrets

  • Robyn Fivush
  • Helena McAnally
  • Elaine Reese


Families preserve and rewrite history in ways that pass on to the next generation a sense of family history based on what is known and what cannot be told. In this paper, we analyze New Zealand European adolescents’ stories about their parents’ childhood, exploring how these young people tell and do not tell family stories shrouded in secrecy. We identify three major ways in which families express secrets across the generations—through collusion, through confusion, and through whole-family secrets—and discuss the implications of each of these family practices for the preservation of family history.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
FIVUSH, Robyn; MCANALLY, Helena; REESE, Elaine. Family Stories and Family Secrets. The Journal of New Zealand Studies, [S.l.], n. NS29, dec. 2019. ISSN 2324-3740. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 02 june 2020. doi: