Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Wendy Silverman

Third Advisor's Name

Scott Fraser

Fourth Advisor's Name

Myrna Crabtree

Date of Defense



This dissertation makes a contribution to the growing literature on identity formation by formulating, implementing, and testing the effectiveness of a psychosocial intervention, the Making Life Choices (MLC) Workshops, designed to facilitate the process of identity formation. More specifically, the MLC Workshops were designed to foster the development and use of critical cognitive and communicative skills and competencies in choosing and fulfilling life goals and values. The MLC Workshops consist of a psychosocial group intervention that includes both didactic and group experiential exercises. The primary research question for this study concerned the effectiveness of the MLC Workshop relative to a control condition. Effectiveness was evaluated on two levels: skills development and reduction of distress. First, the effectiveness of MLC in fostering the development of critical competencies was evaluated relative to a control condition, and no statistically significant differences were found. Second, the effectiveness of MLC in decreasing life distress was also evaluated relative to the control condition. While participants in the MLC workshop had no significant decrease in distress, they did have statistically significant improvement in life satisfaction in the Personal Domain.





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