Weaving the web of identity: Contextual influences on multidimensional identity development during college
AuthorMoran, Christy Denise
AdvisorWoodard, Dudley B., Jr.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this exploratory study was to provide insight into the contextual influences (events, experiences, and relationships) that impact multidimensional identity development during college. Specifically, the types of influences that shape identity development and the processes by which this development occurs were of interest. The sources of data for this study included the stories told by college alumni as well as the concepts found within commonly used student development inventories and assessment tools. Two methods were used to gather data from the respondents: lifelines and semi-structured interviews. The lifeline was used to encourage reflective thought among the alumni; whereas, the interviews were used to gather information about their experiences during college. A document analysis was conducted on the student development inventories and assessment tools in order to determine the conceptualization of identity found therein. In interpreting the data, a conceptual framework that drew on two bodies of literature (the research that concerns student identity development and the research that focuses on life events and experiences) was used. The results of the current study not only provide insight into the contextual influences that shape multidimensional identity development but also suggest the importance of embracing a constructivist framework and holistic conceptualization when studying identity development. Moreover, the results suggest new ways of thinking about the influence that faculty and administrators have over the environment in terms of shaping identity. Future research should continue to investigate the underlying process of multidimensional identity development.
Degree ProgramGraduate College