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Photo of Weststrate, Nic M.

Nic M. Weststrate, PhD

Assistant Professor

Educational Psychology

Faculty Affiliate, Community and Applied Developmental Psychology

Member, Center for Research on Health & Aging

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Building & Room:

3521 ETMSW


1040 W. Harrison St.

Office Phone:

(312) 996-9478


Dr. Nic M. Weststrate’s interdisciplinary research program investigates psychosocial development across the adult lifespan. His research examines human development at the intersection of personal, social, cultural, and historical forces. He is primarily interested in Eriksonian developmental constructs, including personal and collective identity, generativity, integrity, and, especially, the development, manifestation, and transmission of wisdom. In recent research, Nic has been exploring the influence of intergenerational storytelling on psychosocial development. He is currently examining this within the context of families and the LGBTQ+ communities. In Nic’s community-engaged research, he partners with the Senior Services Program at the Center on Halsted and Pride Action Tank of the AIDS Foundation Chicago.


Courses Taught

EPSY 100 - Introduction to Human Development and Learning

EPSY 242 - Introduction to Sexuality Development Across the Lifespan

EPSY 257 - Adult Development & Aging in Contemporary Society

EPSY 340 - Self & Identity Development Across the Lifespan

Selected Grants

The Spencer Foundation, Generating Queers: The Transformative Work of LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogues, Co-Principal Investigator

RRF Foundation for Aging, Storytelling as a Pathway to Intergenerational Social Connectedness for LGBTQ+ Younger and Older Adults, Co-Principal Investigator

UIC Award for Creative Activity, Queers Share This: Disseminating the LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project, Principal Investigator

UIC Student Affairs Faculty Research Fellow Program, Brick by Brick: LGBTQ2SIA+ Campus Climate Study, Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

McLean, K. C., Moriarty, N., Starling, K., & Weststrate, N. M. (2024). Letters from queer elders: Transmitting intergenerational wisdom in LGBTQ+ communities. Journal of Homosexuality. Advance online publication.

Weststrate, N. M., & McLean, K. C. (2024). Protests, panic, policies, and parades: Memory for cultural-historical events and psychosocial identity in the LGBTQ+ community. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 11(1), 90-104.

Weststrate, N. M., Turner, K., & McLean, K. C. (2024). Intergenerational storytelling as a developmental resource in LGBTQ+ communities. Journal of Homosexuality, 71(7), 1626-1651.

Dong, M., Weststrate, N. M., & Fournier, M. A. (2023). Thirty years of psychological wisdom research: What we know about the correlates of an ancient concept. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 18(4) 778-811.

Morris, K., Greteman, A. J., & Weststrate, N. M. (2023). Rainbows and mud: Experiments in LGBTQ+ intergenerational care. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 49(1), 183-207.

Weststrate, N. M., & McLean, K. C. (2023). “You’ve gotta give them hope”: A structural psychobiography of Harvey Milk (1930-1978). Journal of Personality, 91(1), 105-119.

Glück, J., & Weststrate, N. M. (2022). The wisdom researchers and the elephant: Toward an integrative theory of wise behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 26 (4), 342-374.

Morris, K., Greteman, A. J., & Weststrate, N. M. (2022). Embracing queer heartache: On LGBTQ+ intergenerational dialogues. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 35 (9), 928-942.

Weststrate, N. M., Jayawickreme, E., & Wrzus, C. (2021). Advancing a three-tier personality framework for posttraumatic growth. European Journal of Personality, 36 (4), 704-725.

Grossmann, I., Weststrate, N. M., Ardelt, M., Brienza, J. P., Dong, M., Ferrari, M., Fournier, M. A., Hu, C. S., Nusbaum, H. C., & Vervaeke, J. (2020). The science of wisdom in a polarized world: Knowns and unknowns. Psychological Inquiry, 31, 103-133.

Publication Aggregators

Notable Honors

2023, Emerging Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, UIC

2022, Faculty Fellow of the Year, UIC Honors College


2017, PhD, University of Toronto, Developmental Psychology and Education
2011, MA, University of Toronto, Developmental Psychology and Education
2007, HBSc, University of Toronto, Psychology and Philosophy

Professional Memberships

American Educational Research Association

American Society on Aging

Association for Research in Personality

Gerontological Society of America

Society for Personality and Social Psychology