Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio

Advisor's Name

Robert Lickliter

Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Keywords

Outreach Research, Relational Data Analysis, Qualitative, Identity, Positive Youth Development, Developmental Intervention Science

Date of Defense

3-21-2011

Abstract

Recent intervention efforts in promoting positive identity in troubled adolescents have begun to draw on the potential for an integration of the self-construction and self-discovery perspectives in conceptualizing identity processes, as well as the integration of quantitative and qualitative data analytic strategies. This study reports an investigation of the Changing Lives Program (CLP), using an Outcome Mediation (OM) evaluation model, an integrated model for evaluating targets of intervention, while theoretically including a Self-Transformative Model of Identity Development (STM), a proposed integration of self-discovery and self-construction identity processes. This study also used a Relational Data Analysis (RDA) integration of quantitative and qualitative analysis strategies and a structural equation modeling approach (SEM), to construct and evaluate the hypothesized OM/STM model. The CLP is a community supported positive youth development intervention, targeting multi-problem youth in alternative high schools in the Miami Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS).

The 259 participants for this study were drawn from the CLP’s archival data file. The model evaluated in this study utilized three indices of core identity processes (1) personal expressiveness, (2) identity conflict resolution, and (3) informational identity style that were conceptualized as mediators of the effects of participation in the CLP on change in two qualitative outcome indices of participants’ sense of self and identity.

Findings indicated the model fit the data (χ2 (10) = 3.638, p = .96; RMSEA = .00; CFI = 1.00; WRMR = .299). The pattern of findings supported the utilization of the STM in conceptualizing identity processes and provided support for the OM design. The findings also suggested the need for methods capable of detecting and rendering unique sample specific free response data to increase the likelihood of identifying emergent core developmental research concepts and constructs in studies of intervention/developmental change over time in ways not possible using fixed response methods alone.

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