Processes of Identity Integration: An Examination of Sports & Ethnic Identities

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Processes of Identity Integration: An Examination of Sports & Ethnic Identities

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Erikson’s (1968) theory on identity development emphasizes that a coherent sense of self contributes to positive adjustment and psychological well-being. These experiences of coherence and positive adjustment are believed to partly come from the integration of a person’s multiple identity domains, such as religious beliefs, sexual identity, or a professional career. Yet, there have been few studies that fully account for this process of integration across multiple identity domains. Therefore, the goals of this study were to 1) empirically examine the different ways people experience multiple identity domains and 2) explore how these identity experiences are related to adjustment. This study focused on two specific domains of identity—ethnicity and sports—among an ethnically diverse sample of college students (N= 195). The study was conducted using an embedded mixed-methods design, which relied on both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Participants’ reported identity experiences concerning the significance, relatedness, and integration of the two domains (qualitative) were linked to psychological, emotional, and academic outcomes (quantitative). Results from these analyses will be discussed and framed around some of the potential differences Students of Color and White students might have concerning their identity experiences. Implications for future research on identity development will also be discussed.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. 2016. Major: Psychology. Advisors: Moin Syed, Richard Lee. 1 computer file (PDF); 123 pages.

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Walker, Lovey. (2016). Processes of Identity Integration: An Examination of Sports & Ethnic Identities. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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