Myra Sabir

Assistant Professor of Human Development, Binghamton University

Founding Director, Binghamton University, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Community Generativity Institute


  • Ph.D., Human Development & Family Studies with focus on Attachment Narratives, Cornell University, Ithaca
  • M.A., Human Development & Family Studies with focus on Gerontology, Cornell University, Ithaca
  • M.T.S., Theology & Human Development with focus on Attachment Narratives, Emory University, Atlanta
  • B.A., Philosophy, Georgia State University, Atlanta


  • Binghamton University
  • Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
  • International Institute of Reminiscence and Life Review (IIRLR)


  • Post-Doctoral Fellowships at Cornell University, Ithaca
    • National Institute on Aging, Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging
    • TAW Award, National Institute on Aging
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellowships at Cornell University, Ithaca
    • Provost’s Diversity Fellowship
    • Flora Rose Graduate Fellowship
    • Flemmie Kittrell Graduate Fellowship
    • Graduate Fellowship


  • Narrative Psychology


  • Over 15 years in the fields of human development, gerontolgoy, attachment narratives and narrative psychology


  • Narrative Psychology

Areas of Research Interest:

A couple years ago, a program director at Cornell University enrolled a staff person she supervised in one of my AFIR interventions.  The staff member was in danger of losing her job due to her inability to prevent her personal affairs from interfering with her work. Two years later, the staff member is functioning very well in the office, demonstrating clear sings of effectance motivation to which she attributes the AFIR intervention.  The staff person, the supervisor, and I have decided to write a case study analysis of this experience, which will have implications for human resource personnel.

There are eight additional cases similar to the one reported on in the article on effectance motivation described above.  Each of the stories provides unique insight to the ways in which effectance motivation is demonstrated following AFIR.  I’m looking to submit a book proposal once the original article is published to report these stories.

A central part of my scholarly work is to continue to lay new theoretical groundwork for my intervention research as much work is needed in this area.

I am also working to establish a research and training institute called the Community Generativity Institute (CGI). The CGI will continue to apply AFIR interventions but will also train human service and other professionals and lay community persons to conduct Life-writing (AFIR) interventions in the community. Future research related to the development, sustenance, and establishment of the Institute includes fidelity research and implementation/dissemination research.

I also plan to do an evaluation of best measures of attachment and to deepen my grasp of John Bowlby’s concept of the Internal Working Model, a concept that is fundamental to the idea of generative community.


Complete list of publications


  • Sabir, M. (In Press).  Personalized and Global Generativity:  A Prevalent, Important, but Unlabeled Distinction in the Literature.  Journal of Adult Development.
  • Sabir, M. and Pillemer, K. (2014). An intensely sympathetic awareness: Experiential similarity and cultural norms as means for gaining older African Americans’ trust of scientific research. Journal of Aging Studies, 29, 142–149.
  • Sabir, M. (December, 2014).  Psychological Safety and Social Justice. In Sherwood Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.


  • Sabir, M. (Revise & Resubmit). Effectance Motivation:  A practical outcome of attachment-focused integrative reminiscence.  International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review.
  • Sabir, M. (Revise & Resubmit).  The Family Sanctum: Nature’s System for Shared Inner Life, Generative Change, and Expanded Being.  Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging.
  • Sabir, M. ( in process). Book Review of Anne Carlsen and Jane Dutton (Eds.), Research Alive: Exploring Generative Moments in Doing Qualitative Research, 2011. Norway: Ola Hakansson.