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ABSTRACT Systematic content analysis of personal documents is used to assess the course of personality development in one adolescent female exposed to traumatic historical and personal events, as well as more normative life changes Seventy-one letters written by a young girl to her former teacher over a 9-year period comprise the data for this study. Our analyses assess the normal developmental processes of preoccupation with identity formation and the establishment of intimate relationships, as well as responses to life changes (emigration, marriage, pregnancy) Overall, results suggest that despite serious challenges and losses, this individual experienced normal personality development throughout her trying adolescence. In addition, particular life events affected the course of that development. Factors which may have facilitated her resilience are discussed