Effects of identity processing styles on academic achievement of first year university students

Joseph Seabi (Department of Psychology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Jarrod Payne (Department of Psychology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Publication date: 22 March 2013

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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. 311-322

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/09513541311306503

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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