Personal profile

Research Interests

Ratner studies how adolescents and emerging adults reconcile their senses of identity, purpose, and meaning in life. She is particularly interested in how these psychosocial processes interface with mental health. Ratner's research tends to ask one of three questions:

  1. How do achievements and disruptions in identity, purpose, and meaning inform well-being?
  2. How do experiences with psychopathology affect one’s senses of who they are and where they are going in life?
  3. How do educational contexts and experiences (e.g., the transition to and through college, out-of-school time programs) shape psychosocial development?

Some of Ratner's most recent work focuses on derailment (i.e., the sense of being "off-course" in life) and its relation to depressive symptoms. Ratner looks forward to continuing to map the nuances of derailment, including its range of predictors and outcomes. Building from her translational research experiences with the New York State 4-H program, Ratner also maintains an active partnership with GripTape, an out-of-school time program that provides self-driven learning opportunities to teens across the country. Ratner is excited to continue such partnerships, exploring how supportive environments aid young people with the cultivation of identity and self-direction.

Ratner is director of the Self and Psychological Well-being (SAP) Lab. More information about Ratner's research can be found on the SAP Lab website.


Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Cornell University

M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of Central Florida

B.S., Psychology (Honors), University of Central Florida

A.A., Psychology, Daytona State College


In terms of departmental division, Ratner is affiliated with both Developmental Sciences and Counseling Psychology. She often teaches:

EPSY 405 / PSYC 465 - Personality and Social Development

EPSY 590 - Late Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood

Academic Service

Co-chair, Identity Issues Topic Network, Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (2020 - present)

CoE Public Engagement Faculty Fellow 2023-24


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