Identity correlates of academic achievement : how influential are self, academic and ethnic identity statuses among college students?
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Fearon, Danielle Dierdre.
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The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of different identity statuses on academic achievement among a sample of students attending a community college. There were three identities of interest: ego, academic and ethnic. Participants’ overall grade point average was used as the measure of academic achievement. Identity was conceptualized using the Eriksonian-Marcian theoretical approach with ego and academic identities having four statuses: (a) achieved, (b) foreclosed, (c) diffused and (d) moratorium. The ethnic identity had two statuses: (a) commitment (achieved) and (b) exploration. A total of 163 students participated in the study. The data were analyzed using a series of path analyses. Results revealed that in the ego identity model, the status with the strongest direct effect was the ego identity diffused status. In the academic identity model, the status with the strongest direct effect was the academic moratorium status. In the ethnic identity model, the statuses had similar direct effects on academic achievement. The academic moratorium identity emerged as the most salient identity status. The findings have implications for educators and students as to how identity impacts students’ performance in the classroom.