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


  • Rising Star in Personality Psychology Award
  • Laura N. Rice Memorial Award


  • The interface between adult development and clinical psychology

Dr. Adler’s research focuses on the interface between adult development and clinical psychology.

Broadly conceived, his research interests revolve around the reciprocal relationships between self and identity processes and psychological functioning. He is especially interested in the most productive ways people make sense of the difficult things that happen to them and how that personal meaning facilitates changes in identity. In other words, he studies the ways in which the process of making sense of negative experiences influences important life outcomes, including mental health, personality maturity, and the process and outcome of psychotherapy treatment. He is currently working on several research projects that all focus on related issues of identity development and mental health. In addition to his research, Dr. Adler is a practicing psychotherapist, having worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stone Center Counseling Service at Wellesley College and completed his APA-Approved Pre-Doctoral Internship at the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chicago. At Olin he works to make the best of psychological science relevant and exciting for students, both professionally and personally.

Select Publications

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.

Adler, J.M., Chin, E.D., Kolisetty, A.P., Oltmanns, T.F. (2012). The distinguishing characteristics of narrative identity in adults with features of Borderline Personality Disorder: An empirical investigation. Journal of Personality Disorders, 26, 498-512

Adler, J.M. & Poulin, M. (2009). The political is personal: Narrating 9/11 and psychological well-being. Journal of Personality, 74(4), 903-932.