The development of narrative identity and the emergence of personality disorders in adolescence

Curr Opin Psychol. 2021 Feb;37:49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.07.024. Epub 2020 Aug 6.


Narrative identity is likely to be important in the development of personality disorder (PD) in adolescence. Adolescents' life narratives provide rich material that is near to their lived experiences and reveal individual differences in self and relatedness and in ways of constructing meaning. Narrative identity is linked with well-being and psychopathology and shapes coping with adversity. Preliminary research suggests that adolescents and adults with PD narrate their lives in ways that are more negative and express lower agency; narratives may also contain content reflecting PD symptoms. Youth's narrative identities may express personality disturbances in self and relationship processes and may affect the consolidation of or recovery from emerging PD in the transition to adulthood - all possibilities worthy of future investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Narration*
  • Personality
  • Personality Disorders
  • Self Concept*