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image of Myra SabirMyra Sabir, PhD

Assistant Professor

Office: University Downtown Center, Room 411
Office Phone: 607-777-9251
Fax: 607-777-7587



Myra Sabir received her PhD in human development and family studies from Cornell University in 2004. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship, funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIH), at the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA), after which she served for four years as an assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University.

Within the area narrative psychology, Sabir's research focuses on a type of attachment-focused integrative reminiscence (AFIR) called Life Writing.  She is founding director of The Generative Community Research Center (GCRC), an intervention research center that measures the impact of Life Writing on the physical, psychological, social, economic, and environmental health of men, women, families and communities.  Sabir is presently developing a training program for local and national community organizations that wish to install Life Writing as an ongoing highly evidenced-based program for those they serve.  The GCRC expects to initiate its first training program at the beginning of 2017 and will use evaluation, fidelity, and community-based participatory research methods to measure change and to continually improve program effectiveness.  The GCRC is part of the Institute for Institute for Justice and Well-Being in the College of Community and Public Affairs.

Sabir's research is published in first-tier journals (e.g., Journal of Applied GerontologyThe GerontologistAging and Mental Health, International Journal of Reminiscence & Life Review ) and has been accepted for presentation at national conferences such as that of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association of Black Psychologists.

Educational background

  • PhD, human development, Cornell University
  • MTS, theology and human development, Emory University
  • BA, philosophy, Georgia State University

Postdoctoral research fellowship

  • Cornell University, Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging


Courses regularly taught

  • HDEV 100, The Study of Human Change
  • HDEV 334, Narrative Psychology
  • HDEV 325, Optimal Aging

Current and ongoing research interests

  • Attachment-Focused Integrative reminiscence
  • Attachment repair
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Generativity in midlife and older age
  • Applied intervention research
  • Evaluation and fidelity research 

Selected publications

  • Sabir, M. (in press). Narrative Care as Essential Care for Older Adults:  Good hearing is more than good listening. In  Laura Pasquale (Ed.) Achieving Excellence:  A Care Management Anthology of the Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs Care Management Summit 2014: Achieving Excellence.  
  • Sabir, M., Henderson, C., Kang, S-Y, & Pillemer, K. (2015). Attachment-Focused Integrative Reminiscence with Older African-Americans: A Randomized Controlled Intervention StudyAging and Mental Health. 
  • Sabir, M. (2015).  The Family Sanctum: The promise of love’s continuing enlargement across the lifespan. Selected for Special Issue:  Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 27, 2-3,41-251.
  • Sabir, M. (Aihi, pseudonym) (2015).  The Life Writing Workbook:  How to Work through Your Life’s Unresolved Emotional Experiences.  Bloomington, IN: Hayhouse/Balboa Press.
  • Sabir, M. (2014). Effectance Motivation:  A practical outcome of attachment-focused integrative reminiscence.  International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review, 2, 16-30.
  • Sabir, M. (2014).  Personalized and Global Generativity:  A Prevalent, Important, but Unlabeled Distinction in the Literature. Journal of Adult Development, 22, 14-26.
  • 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. (2014).  Psychological Safety and Social Justice. In Sherwood Thompson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
  • Sabir, M., Wethington, E., Pillemer, K., Breckman, R., Meador, R. (2009). A Community-Based Participatory Critique of Social Isolation Intervention Research for Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 28, 218-234.  
  • Chen, C., Sabir, M.,  Zimmerman, S., Pillemer, K., & Suitor, J. (2007).  The importance of family relationships with nursing facility staff for family caregiver burden and depression. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences,62, 253-260.
  • Pillemer, K., Suitor, J., Mock, S., Sabir, M., Sechrist, J. (2007).  Capturing the Complexity of Intergenerational Relations:  Exploring Ambivalence within Later-Life Families.  Journal of Social Issues, 63, 775-791.
  • Wethington, E., Breckman, R., Meador, R., Reid, C., Sabir, M., Lachs, M., Pillemer, K. (2007).  The Citra Pilot Studies Program: Mentoring Translational Research.  Gerontologist, 47, 845-850.
  • Sabir, M., Breckman, R., Meador, R., Wethington, E., Reid, M., Pillemer, K. (2006). The CITRA Research-Practice Consensus Workshop Model: Exploring a New Method of Research Translation in Aging.  The Gerontologist, 46, 833-839.
  • Sabir, M., Pillemer, K., Suitor, J. & Patterson, M. (2003).  Predictors of Successful Relationships in a Peer Support Program for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.  American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 18, 115-122.

Last Updated: 9/15/17