Research Agenda

My research addresses motivational processes involved in development across the life span. In particular, my colleagues, students and I study the way in which individuals at different points in the life span try to control their own development. My research targets important transitions in the life course, such as the transition associated with the “biological clock” in midlife. In particular, I am interested in the transitions from school to work, from school to college, and college to work, because these transitions play a key role in social mobility. Another area of research are individuals’ adaptations to changes associated with illness, disability, and rehabilitation throughout adulthood and old age. I am intrigued by the ability of people at all ages during the life span to adapt to and make the most of these changes. In this context, I investigate individual differences that lead some to loss and despair and others along adaptive paths to successful development and aging.