Jonathan M. Adler

Professor of Psychology


Jonathan M. Adler


Milas Hall 368




  • Ph.D., Clinical and Personality Psychology, Northwestern University
  • M.S., Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University
  • B.A., Psychology, Bates College


  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
  • Fellow, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Rising Star in Personality Psychology Award
  • Laura N. Rice Memorial Award


  • The dynamic interconnections between our stories and our well-being

Dr. Adler’s research focuses on the dynamic interconnections between the stories of our lives and our psychological well-being.

Dr. Adler is especially interested in examining the most productive ways people make sense of the challenging things that happen to them and how that personal meaning facilitates changes in identity development and well-being.  His scholarship in pursuit of this interest is fundamentally mixed-methods, deploying everything from qualitative tools, including psychobiographical case study approaches, to quantitative longitudinal modeling techniques.  He has examined identity development among people with physical disabilities, psychotherapy clients, and in the general population of midlife adults.  Dr. Adler serves as the Editor of Personality and Social Psychology Review, and as Chief Academic Officer of Health Story Collaborative, a non-profit organization aimed at elevating personal stories in the healthcare ecosystem.  His research has been covered by The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Scientific American, CNN, and many other media outlets.  In addition to his research, Dr. Adler is a theater director and a playwright.  His play, Reverse Transcription (co-written with Jim Petosa), premiered Off-Broadway in July, 2022, at The Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage Two, produced by PTP/NYC.

Select Publications

Adler, J.M., Lakmazaheri, A., O'Brien, E., Palmer, A., Reid, M., Tawes, E. (2021). Identity integration in people with acquired disabilities: A qualitative study. Journal of Personality, 89(1), 84-112.

Adler, J.M. (2018). Bringing the (disabled) body to personality psychology: A case study of Samantha. Journal of Personality, 86(5), 803-824.

Adler, J.M., Lodi-Smith, J., Philippe, F.L., Houle, I. (2016). The incremental validity of narrative identity in predicting well-being: A review of the field and recommendations for the future. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20(2), 142-175.

Adler, J.M. (2012). Living into the story: Agency and coherence in a longitudinal study of narrative identity development and mental health over the course of psychotherapy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(2), 367-389.