This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Identity Formation in Context




Eryigit, Suna

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


The overarching goal of the proposed study was to expand Berzonsky’s model by examining associations among identity processing styles and contextual and behavioral factors, and by investigating whether these associations operate similarly across two different national cultures, across gender, and across two measures of identity styles. Three samples of college students representing ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds in both countries were selected. Two samples were from the U.S., the Auburn sample (N=341), and the Tuskegeee sample (N=94) and one of the samples, the Bogazici sample (N=209) was from Turkey. The first question addressed the associations between identity style and identity formation behaviors. The path analyses showed that diffused/avoidant style is negatively associated with identity formation behaviors, whereas informational and normative styles positively predicted only exploration dimensions when they were measured by the ISI, but both exploration and commitment dimensions when measured by the IPSQ. The second question aimed to understand the impact of contextual influences on identity styles and identity formation behaviors. After controlling for the well-being factors, some contextual influences predicted only identity styles or identity formation behaviors, whereas some other contextual influences predicted both identity styles and identity formation behaviors. Mediation effects model, and its alternative additive models were than tested. The results did not show a general mediation effect of identity styles in the relations between contextual influences and identity formation behaviors; rather they pointed only to a few potentially mediated associations. The final question compared three samples to investigate the similarities and differences across diverse cultural groups. The moderating role of nation was investigated only for the paths from identity styles to identity formation behaviors, which showed similarities across the Auburn, Tuskegee, and Bogazici samples, using either the ISI or the IPSQ. The current study had multiple contributions to the understanding of identity formation processes in the career domain across diverse samples, including clarification of associations between identity styles and identity formation behaviors, showing the importance of considering well-being indicators when examining the associations between various aspects of identity formation process, examining the role of context on identity formation process at multiple levels, and using a multi-method approach to measure identity.