Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Mary J. Levitt

First Advisor's Committee Title

Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Leslie Frazier

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Associate Professor

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Dionne Stephens

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Associate Professor

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Asia Eaton

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Assistant Professor

Fifth Advisor's Name

Dr. Thomas Reio

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Associate Professor

Keywords

identity, purpose, hope, life satisfaction, marianismo, ethnic identity, acculturation

Date of Defense

7-2-2014

Abstract

Few studies apply the Eriksonian model of identity formation to cross-cultural samples (3), even though issues of ethnicity and culture may inform a Hispanic woman’s self-concept (Phinney, 1996). Hispanic women may also be influenced by traditional gender role behaviors such as passivity or dependence that are outlined by marianismo (Stevens, 1973). A recent study of a multiethnic sample of emerging adult women and men found that purpose commitment mediated the effects of identity commitment on hope and life satisfaction (Burrow & Hill, 2011). The current research consists of two studies that replicate and expand upon the work of Burrow and Hill (2011). Study I replicated the work of Burrow and Hill (2011) among a sample of emerging adult Hispanic women, in order to assess the extent to which the original findings would replicate in a culturally distinct sample. Study II examined the role of marianismo, ethnic identity, and acculturation on identity commitment among emerging adult Hispanic women. Both studies utilized a sample of 532 female undergraduate psychology students, age 18 to 25, who self-identified as Hispanic and submitted data via online surveys. Both studies used self-report, quantitative data, which was analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results from Study I indicated good model fit and replicated the findings from Burrow and Hill (2011). Specifically, the direct effect of identity commitment on hope was fully contingent upon an individual’s level of purpose commitment, while the effect of identity commitment on life satisfaction was not contingent upon an individual’s level of purpose commitment. Results from Study II indicated that marianismo, Spanish proficiency, familiarity with Latino culture, and familiarity with American culture demonstrated statistically significant direct effects on identity commitment among emerging adult Hispanic women. Results indicated cultural convergence regarding the association of an individual’s identity with well-being through a sense of purpose. Findings also revealed the role of cultural factors in the extent to which Hispanic women commit to a personal identity. Future studies should employ mixed method research designs as a means to better ascertain implications of findings.

Identifier

FI14071157

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