Identity Development in College Students and the Perceived Effectiveness of Academic Program in Facilitating Growth
AuthorChavez, Pedro C.
AdvisorBurross, Heidi L.
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.
AbstractEmerging adulthood is a new concept that identifies the span of time between 18 and 24 as a unique period of human development. The recognition of this stage as distinct and meaningful established a framework to better understand this under researched group. Yet more research needs to be conducted to address what factors and resources that are conducive to transition from this period into healthy and capable adults. A sample of 464 college students between 18 and 24 was gathered from three social science courses, two hard science courses, and two performing arts walk-in sessions. In order to assess differences in identity exploration and commitment, the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ) was utilized. Of these 464 participants, 6 participants took part in qualitative interview sessions. Interview questions asked participants to state their past experiences and expectations before coming to college, how those expectations had changed, what experiences and events were viewed as beneficial or detrimental toward becoming an adult, and their future plans and aspirations.No statistically significant differences were found in commitment and exploration scores between course enrolled, academic year, gender, and ethnicity. These results suggest that identity status should be regarded as a separate construct. The analysis of qualitative interviews 1) supported the validity of the EIPQ to assess identity statuses, 2) recognized developing competence and establishing autonomy as common goals among college students, 3) identified social support and the unique opportunities available at college as crucial resources and experiences conducive to adult growth, 4) identified academic difficulties and managing emotions as valuable challenges to student's development while financial difficulties and personal crises posed detrimental obstacles, and 5) recognized that achieving individual and cultural criteria was more important in establishing adult status than biological age.Thus, college can be recognized as a source of both difficulties and opportunities toward interpersonal and professional development. More exploration should be conducted in order to address how colleges can bolster its benefits while reducing negative outcomes. Furthermore, exploring the differences within identity status may provide a better understanding of the services, resources, and experiences that may support emerging adults toward adult development.
Degree ProgramGraduate College