The Foley Center sponsors research into the structure, function, and development of life stories across the adult life course.
Researchers at the Foley Center have designed a number of measures for assessing individual differences in generativity among adults.
The Redemptive Self
Researchers at the Foley Center have examined the prevalence and correlates of redemption sequences in people’s life narrative accounts, and they have compared those findings to what they have learned about the opposite narrative form – that is, contamination sequences, wherein extremely good life narrative scenes suddenly, and sometimes dramatically, turn bad.
Turning Points and Life Transitions
Led by the former Foley postdoctoral fellow, Jack Bauer, researchers at the Foley Center are exploring turning points and life transitions as they reveal themselves in stories of (1) religious development (e.g., conversion narratives) and (2) career changes.
Traits, Goals, and Stories
A major research thrust at the Foley Center involves documenting relations among constructs at these three different levels of personality.
Research on personal narratives has typically focused on stories about episodes that are emotional and seen as having some influence on the evolving sense of self. For some people the experience of having been in psychotherapy is one such experience.
Faith, Politics, and the Life Story
Dan P. McAdams, Director of the Foley Center, and Regina L. Logan, Research Assistant Professor, have completed data collection for a study examining how people of faith understand their own lives and their political involvement in society.
Foley Longitudinal Study of Adulthood (FLSA)
Dan P. McAdams and Regina L. Logan have recently launched a longitudinal study of midlife adults. This study traces changes and continuity in midlife adults' lives over a nine-year period. It is a study of personality, health, and well-being over time and about how people in their midlife years understand the stories of their lives – their remembered past and imagined future. FLSA will also examine social roles and activities, such as parenting and grandparenting, religion, civic involvements, volunteer work, etc.