My research centers on identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood. I focus on how people recall and interpret their life experiences in narrative form. I view narrative identity development as both an individual and a social process. In working on the individual level of analysis, I examine the meanings that individuals make of their most important memories, and how various patterns of narration are associated with personality and well-being. On the social level of analysis, I examine both micro processes, such as how conversations with others impact how we story past events, as well larger processes, such as how interactions with larger cultural narratives inform the development of identity. My research tries to better understand how each person’s identity is at the same time unique to his or her own life story, as well as born out of a social context that merits consideration in understanding the whole person as he or she begins to consolidate a sense of identity and purpose in the world.
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