The Life Story, Domains of Identity, and Personality Development in Emerging Adulthood focuses on individuals' formulations of the unique episodes and events of their lives that give one meaning and a sense of personal identity. This book brings the growing research on narrative study and the life story into focus by drawing from the existing research on personality development during emerging adulthood.
In this book, authors Michael W. Pratt and M. Kyle Matsuba present a series of chapters exploring how one's life story manifests across the many components of their developing identity, including their religion, morality, vocation, society, and the relationships they have with their parents, peers, and romantic partners. Taking their cue from Erik Erikson's model of adolescent and adult development, the authors show readers exactly how a life story approach can illuminate the distinctive features of an individual's personality and development during this formative phase of life.
Organized around a set of life contexts where personality is manifested (i.e. adjustment, personal ideology, close relationships, occupation, and civic life), this book draws on the authors' own longitudinal research on the development of the life story in emerging adulthood. Throughout the book, they incorporate fascinating case studies and historical examples (e.g., Darwin, Pope Francis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jane Fonda) of individuals' unique development during this period of life in order to better illustrate the application of this approach to understanding the whole person in context.
Michael W. Pratt received his graduate training in Human Development from Harvard University, completing his Ed.D. in 1975. He has taught for the past 30 years at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where he is now Professor Emeritus of Psychology. His research and teaching focus has been in life span developmental psychology, with a particular interest in narrative and the life story.
M. Kyle Matsuba is a Psychology Instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. His research interests focus on environmental attitudes and behaviors, and identity development. In addition, he spends a few months each year in northern Uganda working with children, teachers, and administrators to implement social-emotional learning (SEL) based programs in schools within this post-conflict region.
"This compelling and engaging book greatly transforms our understanding of how young people construct their life stories over a crucial and formative part of the lifespan and why and how this matters across a wide range of developmental outcomes. The theoretical integration on display is a wonder. The sophisticated mix of narrative and quantitative methods in the Futures Study is a veritable primer on how to address complex questions of personality development. A landmark contribution."
--Daniel K. Lapsley, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Notre Dame University; editor of Moral Development, Self and Identity
"In a masterful blend of theoretical review, empirical findings, and illuminating case studies, the authors explore the terrain of life meaning through which young adults travel between their late teens and early 30s. Authoritative and engaging, this volume provides an indispensable guide to the psychology of emerging adulthood, shedding new light on normative developmental trends and powerful individual differences."
--Dan P. McAdams, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Northwestern University; author of The Art and Science of Personality Development