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Praise for the “Co-authored Self” 

“In this engaging and disarmingly profound book, Kate McLean shows how the stories of our own lives are not really our own. We share authorship of our identities with our parents, friends, siblings, and the storytelling culture that envelops us. McLean combines the keen analytic skills of a behavioral scientist with a powerful empathy for the stories of her research subjects, whose voices are indeed the insightful co-authors of this illuminating volume.” —Dan P. McAdams, PhD, The Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University

“In this insightful book, McLean weaves a compelling story about stories as the very air we breathe. Through sharing her research and her own personal stories, she describes how individuals are steeped in stories, embedded in layers of family and cultural storytelling in ways that help individuals create their own identities through narrative. Narrative identities are simultaneously unique and communal, at the interface of the self and the world. As McLean states, ‘we inhabit a world of stories,’ and these stories are us.” —Robyn Fivush, PhD, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Innovation, Emory University

“This book is one of the most original, exciting advances in the study of narrative identity and self-development that I have ever seen. The study of self and human development is steeped in an overly individualistic view of personhood. As this book so clearly showcases, the field of psychology has amassed plenty of data to show that the development of self-identity is not a solely individual endeavor. Yet the field as a whole has not yet got the memo. This book is that memo. And by ‘memo’ I mean assumption-shattering statement of how personhood unfolds.” —Jack Bauer, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Dayton

Praise for the “The Handbook of Identity Development”


“How fitting that the Oxford Handbook of Identity Development came about to bring more coherence to a field which itself studies coherence. Editors McLean and Syed and their talented authors accomplished their goal of shaking up the field by focusing on controversies and challenges rather than by rehashing what is already known. Each section of the Handbook is like a banquet for identity scholars; each course of the meal involves contrasting and complementary flavors.  By the end of the banquet we are satisfied, yet stimulated to ponder the next set of debates, looking forward rather than back.”–Harold D. Grotevant, PhD, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst



McLean, K. C. (2015). The Co-authored Self: Family Stories and the Construction of Personal Identity. New York: Oxford University Press.

Journal Articles

Weststrate, N. M., Ferrari, M., Fournier, M. A., & McLean, K. C. (2018). “It was the best worst day of my life”: Narrative content, structure, and process in wisdom-fostering life event memories. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

Panattoni, K., & McLean, K. C. (in press). The Curious Case of the Coding and Self-Ratings Mismatches: A Methodological and Theoretical Detective Story. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.

McLean, K. C., Lilgendahl, J. P., Fordham, C., Alpert, L., Marsden, E., & Szymanowski, K., & McAdams, P. (in press). Master Identity Development in Cultural Context: The Role of Deviating from Master Narratives. Journal of Personality.

Adler, J. M., Dunlop, W. L, Fivush, R., Lilgendahl, J. P., Lodi-Smith, J., McAdams, D. P., McLean, K. C., Pasupthi, M., & Syed, M. (author order is alphabetical) (2017).  Research methods for studying narrative identity: A primer. Social Psychology and Personality Science.

Galliher, R., McLean, K. C., Syed, M. (2017). An Integrated Model for Studying Identity Content in Context. Developmental Psychology.

McLean, K. C., Syed, M., & Shucard, H. (2016). Gender Identity Development in Emerging Adulthood: A Master Narrative Approach. Emerging Adulthood.

McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., Fivush, R., Grenhoot, A. F., & Wainryb, C. (2016). Does within person variability in narration matter and for what? Journal of Research in Personality.

 McLean, K. C. & Syed, M. (2016). Personal, Master, and Alternative Narratives: An Integrative Framework for Understanding Identity Development in Context. Human Development.

Breen, A. V., McLean, K.C., Cairney, K., & McAdams, D. P. (2016). Movies, Books and Identity: Exploring the Narrative Ecology of the Self. Qualitative Psychology.

McLean, K. C., Syed, M., and Shucard, H. (2016) Bringing Identity Content to the Fore: Links to Identity Development Processes. Emerging Adulthood.

Shaw, J., McLean, K. C., Taylor, B., Swartout, K., & Querna, K. (2016). Beyond resilience: Why we need to look at systems too. Psychology of Violence, 6, 34-41.

Syed, M., & McLean, K. C. (2016). Understanding Identity Integration: Theoretical, Methodological, and Applied Issues. Journal of Adolescence, 47, 109-118.

Mansfield, C. D., Pasupathi, M., & McLean, K. C. (2015). Is narrating growth in stories of personal transgressions associated with increased well-being, self-compassion, and forgiveness of others? Journal of Research in Personality, 58, 69-83.

Manczak, E., McLean, K. C., McAdams, D. P., & Chen, E. (2015). Physiological reactivity during parent-adolescent discussions: Associations with scaffolding behaviors and relationship quality. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 

Chen, E., McLean, K. C., & Miller, G. E. (2015). Shift-and-Persist Strategies: Associations with Socioeconomic Status and the Regulation of Inflammation among Adolescents and their Parents. Psychosomatic Medicine, 77, 371-382.

McLean, K. C. Syed, M., Yoder, A., & Greenhoot, A.F.  (2014). Identity Integration: The Importance of Domain Content in Linking Narrative and Status Approaches to Emerging Adult Identity Development. Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Jennings, L. E., Pasupathi, M., & McLean, K. C. (2013). Intricate Lettings Out and Lettings In’: Listener Scaffolding of Narrative Identity in Newly-Dating Romantic Partners. Self and Identity.

Jennings, L. E., McLean, K. C. (2013). Storying Away Self-Doubt: Can Narratives Dispel Threats to the Self? Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 317–329.

McLean, K. C., Wood, R.,& Breen, A. (2013). Reflecting on a difficult life: Narrative construction and delinquency in vulnerable adolescents and the hazards of reflecting on difficult experiences. Journal of Adolescent Research, 28, 431-452.

McAdams, D. P., & McLean, K. C. (2013). Narrative Identity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 233-238.

McLean, K. C., & Morrison-Cohen, S. (2013). Moms Telling Tales: Maternal Identity Development in Conversations with their Adolescents about the Personal Past. Identity, 13, 120-139.

Lilgendahl, J. L., McLean, K. C., Mansfield, C. (2013). When is Meaning-making Unhealthy for the Self?  The Roles of Neuroticism, Implicit Theories and Memory Telling in Trauma and Transgression Memories. Memory, 21, 79- 96.

McLean, K. C. & Jennings, L. E. (2012). Teens Telling Tales: How Maternal and Peer Audiences Support Narrative Identity Development. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1455-1469.

McLean, K. C. & Pasupathi, M. (2012). Looking forwards and looking backwards: Two approaches to identity development.  Identity Special Issue: Reintegrating Erikson: A Theoretical and Empirical Synthesis of Eriksonian Identity Models,12, 8 – 28.

Mansfield, C., McLean, K. C., & Lilgendahl, J. P. (2010). Narrating Traumas and Transgressions: Links between Narrative Processing, Wisdom, and Well-being. Narrative Inquiry, 20, 246 – 273.

McLean, K. C., & Pasupathi, M. (2010). Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue? The emergence and retention of meaning in autobiographical storytelling. Journal of Personality, 79, 135 – 164.

McLean, K. C., & Mansfield, C. D. (2010). To Reason or Not to Reason: Is Autobiographical Reasoning Always Beneficial? In T. Habermas (Ed.), New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development: The development of autobiographical reasoning in adolescence and beyond, 131, 85–97.

Weststrate, N.,&  McLean, K. C. (2010). The rise and fall of gay: Gay identity development in different historical and cultural cohorts. Memory, 18, 225 – 240.

McLean, K. C., Breen, A., & Fournier, M. A. (2010). Adolescent identity development: Narrative meaning-making and memory telling. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 166 – 187.

Remick, A. K., Pliner, P., McLean, K. C. (2009). Attitudes to Eating Reveal Interesting Aspects of the Self. Eating Behaviors, 10, 42 – 44.

McLean, K. C., & Breen, A. (2009). Gender differences in adolescent meaning-making. Developmental Psychology, 45, 702-710.

McLean, K. C., & Pals, J. L. (2008). Reminiscence functions: Emotional valence, age and well- being. Memory, 751-672.

Pasupathi, M., McLean, K. C., & Weeks, T. (2008). The told and untold narrative self. Journal of Personality, 77, 89-124.

McLean, K. C. (2008). The emergence of narrative identity. Social and Personality Compass, 2, 1-18.

McLean, K. C., & Fournier, M. (2008). The Content and Processes of Autobiographical Reasoning in Narrative Identity Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 527-545.

McLean, K. C. (2008). Stories of the young and the old: Reflections on self-continuityDevelopmental Psychology, 44, 254-164.

McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Pals. J. L. (2007). Selves creating stories creating selves: A process model of narrative self development in adolescence and adulthood. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 262-278.

McLean, K. C., & Pasupathi, M. (2006). Collaborative narration of the past and extraversion. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 1219-1231.

McLean, K. C., & Pratt, M. W. (2006). Life’s little (and big) lessons: Identity statuses and meaning- making in the turning point narratives of emerging adults, Developmental Psychology, 42, 714-722.

McLean, K. C. (2005).Late adolescent identity development: Narrative meaning-making and memory telling. Developmental Psychology, 41, 683-691.

Thorne, A., McLean, K. C., & Lawrence, A. (2004). When remembering is not enough: Reflecting on self- defining events in late adolescence. Journal of Personality, 72, 513-542.

McLean, K. C., & Thorne, A. (2003). Late adolescents’ self-defining memories about relationships. Developmental Psychology, 39, 635-645.

Thorne, A., & McLean, K. C. (2002). Gendered reminiscence practices and self-definition in late adolescence.  Sex Roles:  A Journal of Research, 46, 261-271.

Book Chapters

McLean, K. C. (2017). And the Story Evolves: The Development of Personal Narratives and Narrative Identity (pp. 325 – 338). In J. Specht (Ed.), Personality Development Across the Lifespan. Elsevier.

Dys, S. B., Schellenberg, E. G., & McLean, K. C. (2017). Musical Identities, Music Preferences, and Individual Differences (pp. 247 -266). In R. MacDonald, D. Miell, and D. Hargreaves (Eds)., Musical Identities, 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

McLean, K. C., & Breen, A. V. (2016). Selves in a World of Stories (pp. 385 – 400). In J. A. Arnett (Ed.) Handbook of Emerging Adulthood. New York: Oxford University Press.

Breen, A. V., & McLean, K.C. (2016). The intersection of personal and master narratives: Is redemption for everyone (pp. 197 – 214)?  In B. Schiff & S. Patron (Eds.), Narrative Matters: Papers from the 2012 Conference. New York: Oxford University Press.

McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. (2015). The Field of Identity Development Needs an Identity: An Introduction to the Handbook of Identity Development. In K. C. McLean and M. Syed (Eds). The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development (pp. 1 – 10). New York: New York: Oxford University Press.

Syed, M., & McLean, K. C. (2015). The Future of Identity Development Research: Reflections,Tensions, and Challenges. In K. C. McLean and M. Syed (Eds). The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development, (pp. 562-574). New York: New York: Oxford University Press.

McLean, K. C., & Morrison-Cohen, S. (2013) “But Wait, It Gets Even Weirder…”: The Meaning of Stories. In C. Routledge & J. Hicks (Eds.), The experience of meaning in life: Classical perspectives, emerging themes, and controversies, (pp. 201 – 212). New York: Springer.

McLean, K. C., & Pasupathi, M. Narrative approaches to identity development in adolescence.In J. R. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence. New York, NY: Springer.

Kroger, J., & McLean, K. C. (2011). Identity Narratives during the Adult Years: Development and Learning. C. Hoare (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reciprocal Adult Development and Learning 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Breen. A., & McLean, K. C. (2010). Constructing Resilience: Adolescent Motherhood and the Potential for Self-Transformation (pp. 151 – 168). In K. C. McLean & M. Pasupathi (Eds.), Narrative Development in Adolescence: Creating the Storied Self. New York:  Springer.

Alea, N., McLean, K., C. & Vick, S. C. (2009). The story of us: Examining marital quality via positive and negative relationship narratives. In K. S. Pearlman (Ed.), Marriage: Roles, Stability and Conflicts. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

McLean, K. C., & Thorne, A. (2006). Identity light: Entertainment as a vehicle for self development. In McAdams, Josselson, & Lieblich (Eds.), Identity and story: Creating self in narrative (pp. 111-127), Washington DC: APA Press.

Thorne, A., McLean, K. C., & Dasbach, A. (2004). When parents’ stories go to pot: Telling personal transgressions to teenage kids. In M. W. Pratt & B. E. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the lifecourse:  Across time and generations, (pp. 187-212). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Thorne, A., & McLean, K. C. (2003). Telling traumatic events in adolescence:  A study of master narrative positioning.  In R. Fivush & C. Haden (Eds.), Connecting culture and memory: The development of an autobiographical self, (pp. 169-186). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Edited Works

McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. (Eds.), (2014).  The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

Greenhoot, A. G. & McLean, K. C. (Eds.), (2013). Memory: Special Issue on the Costs and Benefits of Finding Meaning in the Past.

McLean, K. C., & Pasupathi, M. (Eds.), (2010). Memory: Special Issue on Silence and Memory.

McLean, K. C., & Pasupathi, M. (Eds.), (2010). Narrative Development in Adolescence: Creating the Storied Self. New York, NY: Springer.


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