Good Choices, Poor Choices: Relationship Between the Quality of Identity Commitments and Psychosocial Functioning

Alan S. Waterman, Seth J Schwartz, Sam A. Hardy, Su Yeong Kim, Richard M. Lee, Brian E. Armenta, Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Byron L. Zamboanga, Elissa J. Brown, Michelle K. Williams, V. Bede Agocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research indicates making identity commitments on the part of emerging adults is associated with a wide range of psychosocial benefits. Data from a large research collaborative were used to evaluate hypotheses drawn from eudaimonic identity theory that the benefits of commitment are attributable to the quality of the commitments held. Findings from a study with 9,650 students attending 30 colleges and universities replicated previous research indicating the benefits of identity commitments with respect to subjective well-being, psychological well-being, self-esteem, an internal locus of control; and reduced likelihood of symptoms of general anxiety, social anxiety, and depression. However, when a measure of the quality of identity commitments was added to the analyses, results indicated that commitment quality accounted almost entirely for the associations of identity commitments with psychosocial functioning. Identity commitments of low quality were found to be associated with psychological costs rather than benefits. Implications for helping emerging adults distinguish better identity choices are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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commitment
Anxiety
Research
Psychology
Internal-External Control
Self Concept
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Depression
Students
well-being
anxiety
locus of control
self-esteem
university
costs
student

Keywords

  • commitment
  • eudaimonism
  • identity
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Good Choices, Poor Choices : Relationship Between the Quality of Identity Commitments and Psychosocial Functioning. / Waterman, Alan S.; Schwartz, Seth J; Hardy, Sam A.; Kim, Su Yeong; Lee, Richard M.; Armenta, Brian E.; Whitbourne, Susan Krauss; Zamboanga, Byron L.; Brown, Elissa J.; Williams, Michelle K.; Agocha, V. Bede.

In: Emerging Adulthood, Vol. 1, No. 3, 01.01.2013, p. 163-174.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Waterman, AS, Schwartz, SJ, Hardy, SA, Kim, SY, Lee, RM, Armenta, BE, Whitbourne, SK, Zamboanga, BL, Brown, EJ, Williams, MK & Agocha, VB 2013, 'Good Choices, Poor Choices: Relationship Between the Quality of Identity Commitments and Psychosocial Functioning', Emerging Adulthood, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 163-174. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167696813484004
Waterman, Alan S. ; Schwartz, Seth J ; Hardy, Sam A. ; Kim, Su Yeong ; Lee, Richard M. ; Armenta, Brian E. ; Whitbourne, Susan Krauss ; Zamboanga, Byron L. ; Brown, Elissa J. ; Williams, Michelle K. ; Agocha, V. Bede. / Good Choices, Poor Choices : Relationship Between the Quality of Identity Commitments and Psychosocial Functioning. In: Emerging Adulthood. 2013 ; Vol. 1, No. 3. pp. 163-174.
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