My program of research can be viewed as following two paths. The first path involves delineating whether a sense of self-direction – or purpose in life – serves as a psychological resource for those who cultivate it. Specifically, I have conducted a series of studies designed to test the utility of purpose as (a) an asset for positive youth development and (b) a source of protection in the face of stress and challenge. A second path examines how notions of race are incorporated into one’s sense of self (., racial identification) and potentially shape perceptions of everyday encounters. Studies I have conducted in this area have primarily focused on the psychological adjustment of ethnic minorities and examine (a) how race-related experiences are related to adjustment and (b) whether racial identity can contour the impact of these experiences. I believe the importance of this work lies in the potential to identify sources of resilience capable of improving the well-being of vulnerable and often underexamined populations.