What makes students commit: experiences and identity development

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Developing a sense of identity is an important task for adolescents (Erikson, 1968) and emerging adults (Arnett, 2001). Identity consist of ‘commitments’, strongly held beliefs or values (Marcia, 1966), in several domains of life (Bosma, 1992; Goossens, 2001). The domain of education and future occupation is especially relevant for emerging adults that have transitioned to higher education (Kunnen, 2009). During their first year, students explore and encounter experiences which are expected to influence their commitment (Marcia, 1980). However, how these experiences influence commitment, and thus what possible mechanisms for identity development exist on a micro-level, has hardly been researched (Bosma & Kunnen, 2001). This study aims to shed some first light on this. We have followed 37 students over a period of 30 weeks. Each week, they reported an important experience and their commitment in the domain of education. We test whether having a positive, negative, neutral or mixed experience is followed by a change in commitment scores.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2014
EventHeymans Institute Symposium - Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 3-Apr-2014 → …


ConferenceHeymans Institute Symposium
Period03/04/2014 → …

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