Global Understanding of Adolescence: An Interview with Cigdem Kagitcibasi

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Cidgdem Kagitcibasi, Professor of Psychology at Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey, will deliver the final invited keynote of the conference. Her talk will address how to promote adolescent well-being at a global level while maintaining sensitivity to contextual factors, cultural norms, values, beliefs, and customs. Cidgdem Kagitcibasi shared her perspective on working internationally, pursuing cross-national research, and shares advice for other scholars. 

1. What drew you to integrate cross-national perspectives in your work? Why is it exciting for you?
CK: I am Turkish. I was a foreign student in the United States. Starting from that time, I have become aware of 'culture' and have been using a 'cultural filter' in my study of human phenomena. It is exciting because human mind and behavior occur within a cultural context and cannot be understood without reference to it. Using only research and thinking arising from one cultural context (America) is not sufficient to understand global human realities.
2. For the work that you are presenting at SRA's biennial meeting, what about your research are you most proud of and why?
CK: I am most proud of my work that has led to the integrative syntheses of 'Autonomous-Related Self', 'Social-Cognitive Competence', and 'Emotionally Interdependent Family' especially in the study of human development (see Kagitcibasi, 'Family, Self and Human Development Across Cultures', L. Erlbaum / Taylor & Francis, 2007)
3. What advice do you have for other scholars wishing to pursue cross-national or international research?
CK: I suggest that they participate in international psychology conferences, develop international contacts for collaborative research and read the publications of non-American researchers, also.