Adolescent Psychiatry

Lois T. Flaherty
Harvard University Medical School
Cambridge, MA


A Psychiatric Perspective on Narratives of Self-Reflection in Resilient Adolescents

Author(s): Ayelet R. Barkai and Nancy Rappaport

Affiliation: 328 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139, USA.

Keywords: Self-reflection, agency, development, adolescence, resilience, narrative, borderline personality disorder, autism, psychopathological development, developmental antecedents, metacognitive processes, self-as-object, self-as-subject, spanning early childhood, middle childhood, early adolescence, late adolescence, self-schemes, social and psychological self, Theory of Mind, competence or ego resiliency, reflective self-function, coherence of narrative, metacognitive monitoring, Psychoanalytic theory, DSM III, autistic-spectrum disorder, Asperger's disorder


Self-reflection is a developmental competence that fully emerges in adolescence. In this paper, self-reflection development is explored from the perspectives of developmental psychology, resilience studies, and developmental psychopathology as a way to deepen clinicians understanding of the clinical relevance of self-reflection development. Literature on narrative identity formation in normative adolescence is reviewed, and research on self-reflection in narratives of high-risk adolescents participating in a 30+ year ongoing longitudinal study of adolescent developmental psychology and psychopathology is presented. A theoretical synthesis is proposed to account for the relations between self-reflection, competence and resilient outcome.

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Article Details

Page: [46 - 54]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/2210676611101010046