Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

William M. Kurtines

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Luis A. Escovar

Third Advisor's Name

Wendy K. Silverman

Fourth Advisor's Name

Patricia Telles-Irvin

Date of Defense



Although the literature on the types of abilities and processes that contribute to identity formation has been growing, the research has been mainly descriptive/correlational. This dissertation conducted an experimental investigation of the role of two theoretically distinct processes (exploration and critical problem solving) in identity formation, one of the first to be reported. The experimental training design (pre-post, training versus control) used in this study was intended to promote identity development by fostering an increase in the use of exploration and critical problem solving with respect to making life choices. Participants included 53 psychology students from a large urban university randomly assigned to each group. The most theoretically significant finding was that the intervention was successful in inducing change in the ability to use critical skills in resolving life decisions, as well as effecting a positive change in identity status.



Included in

Psychology Commons



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