Academic achievement of first year university students in the international arena, as well as in South Africa, has been a point of concern for all stakeholders because of high failure and dropout rates. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of identity processing styles on academic achievement in first year university students. This study also explored the composition of students according to their identity processing styles, to determine the predominant identity style.
A non‐experimental ex post facto research design was employed. A non‐probability purposive sampling was used to select 430 first‐year university students with an average age of 18.94.
The findings generally revealed a non‐significant relationship between identity processing styles (normative, diffuse‐avoidant, informational) and academic achievement. However, the informational‐oriented students performed significantly better than diffuse‐avoidant group on academic achievement. Although comparable, most of the participants were located within the lower level of identity development (i.e. diffuse‐avoidant processing style), while those with mature sophisticated identity development (i.e. informational) were underrepresented.
This study makes novel contributions to the literature, especially related to the South African context, in view of the fact that most studies conducted in this area have been implemented in developed countries. It also provides insights regarding usage of the Identity Style Inventory in relation to the cultural orientation of South Africa.
Joseph Seabi and Jarrod Payne (2013) "Effects of identity processing styles on academic achievement of first year university students", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 311-322Download as .RIS
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