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  • James E. Côté

    Photo by Eric Simard

  • Professor James E. Côté speaking at Alpbach 2015
  • Cote & Brynner article is Journal of Youth Studies' most cited article
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James E. Côté, Professor

Past President, RC34 - Sociology of Youth, International Sociological Association Full CV  pdf
Associate Editor, Journal of Adolescence

In the News

June 28, 2018 "Is grade inflation a worldwide trend?" Times Higher Education

Recent Activities

Dec. 2017 presented keynote "Megatrends affecting healthy psychosocial development in late-modern societies,” Research Summit with a theme Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development in a Polarizing World, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Bio

  • Teaching

  • Publications

  • Research

Ph.D., Sociology, York University, Toronto
Research Assistant/Psychometrist, Beechgrove Regional Children’s Centre, Kingston
M.A., Sociology, University of Western Ontario
Honours B.A., Sociology/Psychology, Trent University

James Côté is a Full Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, and regularly contributes to three fields of research: sociology of youth, identity formation, and higher education studies.

He is the founding editor of Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research , served as President (2003-2005) of the Society for Research on Identity Formation (SRIF), and currently serves as Past-President (2014-18) of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee (34) on the Sociology of Youth. He has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Adolescence since 2009.

Dr. Côté has authored or co-authored ten books and dozens of journal articles and book chapters in his three research fields. His recent books include Identity, Youth, and Development: A Simplified Approach (2016), Youth Studies: Fundamental Issues and Debates (2014), and Lowering Higher Education (2011).

Current research involves cross-cultural studies of identity formation (extending North American findings to Japan and Finland), testing the cross-cultural validity of his identity capital model and the various measures he has developed to operationalize concepts in the model.

Professional Affiliations

International Sociological Association, RC34, Sociology of Youth.
Past President (2014-2018)
President (2010-2014)
Vice president for North America (2006-2010)
Editor, Web Bulletin (IBYR) (2002-2006)

Society for Research on Identity Formation (SRIF)
Founding member, 1994 – present
President-Elect (2001-2003);
President (2003-2005); Past-President (2005-2007)

Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) 1994-

Thesis Supervision

Supervisory Status:  MA, PhD

PhD Theses

Rebecca Williams, The Influence of Parenting Style and Perceived Mattering on Identity Style Orientation.

Secil Erdogan, Identity Formation and Acculturation:  The Case of Karen Refugees in London, Ontario. Supervisors: Jim Côté and Chuck Levine.

Sharon Roberts, Identity Stage Resolution in the Prolonged Transition to Adulthood: Development and Validation of the Identity Issues Inventory.

MA Theses (last ten)

Sarah Driessens,  Student Disengagement:  An Assessment of Sociological and Psychological Factors.

Mike Courey (jointly supervised with Paré), Identity Styles and Gottfredson & Hirschi's General Theory of Crime: An Examination of the Relationship Among Parenting Styles, Identity Styles, Self Control and Delinquency.

Curtis Jones, Identity and Materialism.

Sharon Roberts, Predicting Risk Behaviours in Adolescence: The Role of Parenting Styles and Identity Formation.

Holly Bell, Moral Entrepreneurship and Employment Equity: A Case Study of Policies and Programs Pursued at The University of Western Ontario.

Mario Nigro, The Effects of Ethnicity and Social Status on Intra-group Differences in Attitudes Towards Police Amongst the Chinese Community of Metropolitan Toronto.

Karen Luton, Cultural Capital, University Education, and Gender.

Melanie Brown, An Analysis of Sex Bias and Sex Stereotyping in the Illustration of Secondary School Science Textbooks.

Patricia Roszell, The Impact of Parental Divorce and Death in Childhood and Adolescence on Subsequent Marital Relations in Adulthood.

Judith Aldridge, Feminism, Epistemological orientation, and Personal Experience: A Theoretical Formulation and Empirical Investigation.

Recent Publications
>for more see Full CV


(2022) Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education (editor, with Sarah Pickard), Routledge.

(2018) Youth Development in Identity Societies: Paradoxes of Purpose , Routledge.

(2016) Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education (editor, with A. Furlong), Routledge.

(2015) Identity Formation, Youth, and Development: A Simplified Approach , (with C. Levine) Psychology Press.

(2014) Youth Studies: Fundamental Issues and Debates , Palgrave MacMillan


(2016) The identity capital model: A handbook of theory, methods, and findings . Unpublished manuscript, Department of Sociology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Book Chapters

forthcoming 2019 "A social psychologist’s perspective on future directions: The many faces of youth studies" in Leo Hendry & Marion Kloep (eds.), Reframing Adolescent Research , Routledge.

(2018) "Identity" in J. Michael Ryan (ed.) Core Concepts in Sociology , Wiley-Blackwell

(2016) "Identity Development" (with Anita Small and Joanne Cripps), The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia, Sage.

(2014) "Identity-formation research from a critical perspective: Is a social science developing?" The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development , Moin Syed and Kate McLean (eds.) Oxford University Press, 2014, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199936564.013.015

(2014) "The decline in study time in American and British universities: Unraveling the paradox in two knowledge economies" Higher Education in the UK and the USA: Converging models in a global academic world? , Brill.

(2014) "The Identity Capital Model: Functional Adaptations In Late-Modern Contexts" in Shinichi Mizokami and Kayo Matsushita, eds. School-to-Work Transitions: Basics and Current Studies, Nakanishiya, Kyoto.

(2014) "The "digital native" debate: An appraisal of pedagogical and generational claims" in Lynne Chisholm and Vassiliki Deliyanni-Kouimitzi, eds., Changing Landscapes of Childhood and Youth in Europe , Cambridge Scholars Press.

(2013) "A stranger in paradise: Fitting in, managing identities, and reaching out" in Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Richard M. Lerner, Anne C Petersen, and Rainer K. Silbereisen eds., The Developmental Science of Adolescence: History through Autobiography , Psychology Press.

(2013) "The importance of resources in work transitions in late-modern contexts" pp. 301-317 in Helena Helve & Karen Evans (eds.), Youth and work transitions in changing social landscapes , Tufnell Press.

Refereed Articles

forthcoming "Do Japanese youth proactively form identities? An investigation of independent self formation" (with S. Mizokami, K. Eichas and T. Toyokawa) Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research

(2017) "Identity Horizons Among Finnish Postsecondary Students: A Comparative Analysis" (with Helena Helve, Arseniy Svynarenko, Eeva Sinisalo-Juha, Shinichi Mizokami, Sharon E. Roberts and Reiko Nakama) Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 17(3):191-206

(2016) "A new political economy of youth reprised: rejoinder to France and Threadgold" Journal of Youth Studies 19(6):852-868.

(2016) "An examination of the cross-cultural validity of the Identity Capital Model: American and Japanese students compared" (with S. Mizokami, S.E. Roberts and R. Nakama) Journal of Adolescence 46(1):76-85.

(2015) "Class and crisis in higher education in North America" (with Anton Allahar) Asian Journal of Canadian Studies 21(1):1–50.

(2015) "The Role of Identity Horizons in Education-to-Work Transitions: A Cross-Cultural Validation Study in Japan and the United States" (with S. Mizokami, S.E. Roberts, R. Nakama, A. Meca, and S.J. Schwartz) Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 15(4):263-286.

(2014) "The dangerous myth of emerging adulthood: An evidence-based critique of a flawed developmental theory" Applied Developmental Science 18(4):177-188, DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2014.954451

(2014) "The identity issues inventory: identity stage resolution in the prolonged transition to adulthood" (with S. Roberts) Journal of Adult Development 21(4):225-238, DOI 10.1007/s10804-014-9194-x

(2013) "The falsification of evidence by Derek Freeman: Self-deception or fraud?" Current Anthropology 54(1), 62-63

(2013) "Towards a new political economy of youth" Journal of Youth Studies DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2013.836592

Commissioned Reports

(2016) The developmental pathways of self/identity and moral reasoning: Middle childhood through late adolescence, Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Toronto, Ontario


Professor Côté has interests in the fields of youth studies, the sociology of higher education, and identity studies.

Current Research Projects

The Identity Horizons Cross-Cultural Survey (IHCCS): Japan, Finland, Canada, and the US