Advertisement

Examining Self-Perceptions of Identity Change in Person, Role, and Social Identities

Article

Abstract

Recent work in the literature on identity has begun to examine differences in the operation of person, role, and social identities, and how each base of identity links to specific outcomes of the self. In this study we employ a cross-sectional research design and examine how individuals perceive that they have changed as a type of person, role player, and group member, and how these perceived changes link to specific outcomes of the self. An online survey was administered to 854 study participants to measure the magnitude and direction of change they perceived occurred in twelve discrete identities in a six-month period prior to completing the survey. The results show that in reflecting on their past experience, study participants perceived that they experienced more change in their role identities compared to their person and social identities. The results also show that the magnitude of perceived change in any type of identity relates to negative emotions, and when individuals perceive that their identity change is progressive in nature it relates to greater authenticity, self-efficacy, self-worth, and positive emotions. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords

Identity change Authenticity Self-efficacy Self-worth 

Notes

Funding

This study was funded by a grant from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, Northridge.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author A declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author B declares that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Aquino, K., & Reed II, A. (2002). The Self-Importance of Moral Identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1423–1440.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Asencio, E. K. (2013). Self-Esteem, Reflected Appraisals, and Self-Views: Examining Criminal and Worker Identities. Social Psychology Quarterly, 76, 291–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asencio, E. K., & Burke, P. J. (2011). Does Incarceration Change the Criminal Identity? A Synthesis of Labeling and Identity Theory Perspectives on Identity Change. Sociological Perspectives, 54, 163–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baruch, G. K., & Barnett, R. C. (1986). Role Quality, Multiple Roles Involvement, and Psychological Well-Being in Midlife Women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 578–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Breakwell, G. M. (1986). Coping with Threatened Identities. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, R., & Capozza, D. (2016). Social Identities: Motivational, Emotional, and Cultural Influences. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Burke, P. J. (1991). Identity Processes and Social Stress. American Sociological Review, 56(6), 836–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burke, P. J. (2003). Relationships Among Multiple Identities. In P. J. Burke, T. J. Owens, R. T. Serpe, & P. A. Thoits (Eds.), Advances in Identity Theory and Research (pp. 195–214). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burke, P. J. (2004). Identities and Social Structure: 2003 Cooley-Mead Award Address. Social Psychology Quarterly, 67, 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burke, P. J. (2006). Identity Change. Social Psychology Quarterly, 69, 81–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burke, P. J., & Cast, A. D. (1997). Stability and Change in the Gender Identities of Newly Married Couples. Social Psychology Quarterly, 60(4), 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Burke, P. J., & Stets, J. E. (2009). Identity Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burke, P. J., Stets, J. E., & Cerven, C. (2007). Gender, Legitimation, and Identity Verification in Groups. Social Psychology Quarterly, 70, 27–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Callero, P. L. (1985). Role-Identity Salience. Social Psychology Quarterly, 48, 203–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carter, M. J. (2013). Advancing Identity Theory: Examining the Relationship between Activated Identities and Behavior in Different Social Contexts. Social Psychology Quarterly, 76, 203–223.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0190272513493095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carter, M. J. (2016). An Autoethnographic Analysis of Sports Identity Change. Sport in Society, 19(10), 1667–1689.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2016.1179733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Carter, M. J. (2017). How Self-Perceptions of Identity Change in Person, Role, and Social Identities Relate to Depression. Identity, 17(4).  https://doi.org/10.1080/15283488.2017.1379908.
  19. Cast, A. D., & Welch, B. K. (2015). Emotions and the Self: Depression and Identity Change. The Sociological Quarterly, 56(2), 237–266.  https://doi.org/10.1111/tsq.12085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coser, L. (1974). Greedy Institutions. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  21. Deaux, K., Reid, A., Mizrahi, K., & Ethier, K. A. (1995). Parameters of Social Identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68(2), 280–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ebaugh, H. R. F. (1988). Becoming an Ex: The Process of Role Exit. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Ellemers, N., Kortekaas, P., & Ouwerkerk, J. W. (1999). Self-Categorization, Commitment to the Group and Group Self-Esteem as Related but Distinct Aspects of Social Identity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29, 371–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Erikson, E. (1946). Ego Development and Historical Change. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 2, 359–396.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Erikson, E. (1968). Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  26. Felmlee, D. H., & Hargens, L. L. (1988). Estimation and Hypothesis Testing For Seemingly Unrelated Regressions: A Sociological Application. Social Science Research, 17, 384–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gianakos, I. (1995). The Relation of Sex Role Identity to Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 46(2), 131–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  29. Goode, W. J. (1960). A Theory of Role Strain. American Sociological Review, 25, 483–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Haviland, J. M., & Kahlbaugh, P. (1993). Emotion and Identity Processes. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), The Handbook of Emotion (pp. 327–338). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  31. Hogg, M. A. (2003). Social Identity. In M. R. Leary & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Handbook of Self and Identity (pp. 462–479). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  32. Hogg, M. A. (2006). Social Identity Theory. In P. J. Burke (Ed.), Contemporary Social Psychological Theories (pp. 111–136). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Iyer, A., Jetten, J., & Tsivrikos, D. (2008). Torn between Identities: Predictors of Adjustment to Identity Change. In F. Sani (Ed.), Self Continuity: Individual and Collective Perspectives (p. 187). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jackson, J. W., & Smith, E. R. (1999). Conceptualizing Social Identity: A New Framework and Evidence for the Impact of Different Dimensions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 120–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jenkins, R. (2014). Social Identity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Jetten, J., O'Brien, A., & Trindall, N. (2002). Changing Identity: Predicting Adjustment to Organizational Restructure as a Function of Subgroup and Superordinate Identification. British Journal of Social Psychology, 41(2), 281–297.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Jones, S. R., & Abes, E. S. (2013). Identity Development of College Students: Advancing Frameworks for Multiple Dimensions of Identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  38. Kohlberg, L. (1976). Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach. In T. Lickona (Ed.), Moral Development and Behavior: Theory, Research, and Social Issues (pp. 31–53). San Francisco: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  39. Kohlberg, L. (1981). The Philosophy of Moral Development. Cambridge, Massachusettes: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  40. Linville, P. (1987). Self-Complexity as a Cognitive Buffer Against Stress-Related Illness and Depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 663–676.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Marcia, J. E. (1966). Development and Validation of Ego-Identity Status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 551–558.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Marks, S. R. (1977). Multiple Roles and Role Strain: Some Notes on Human Energy, Time and Commitment. American Sociological Review, 42(6), 921–936.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marks, S. R., & MacDermid, S. M. (1996). Multiple Roles and the Self: A Theory of Role Balance. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 58(2), 417–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McCall, G. J., & Simmons, J. L. (1978). Identities and Interactions: An Examination of Human Associations in Everyday Life (Revised Edition ed.). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  45. Meeus, W. (1996). Studies on Identity Development in Adolescence: An Overview of Research and Some New Data. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 25(5), 569–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Roberts, B. W., Walton, K. E., & Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Patterns of Mean-Level Change in Personality Traits Across the Life Course: A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies. Psychological Bulletin, 132(1), 1–25.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Schmidt, S., Roesler, U., Kusserow, T., & Rau, R. (2014). Uncertainty in the Workplace: Examining Role Ambiguity and Role Conflict, and their Link to Depression—a Meta-Analysis. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(1), 91–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sieber, S. D. (1974). Toward a Theory of Role Accumulation. American Sociological Review, 39(4), 567–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Slater, P. (1963). On Social Regression. American Sociological Review, 28, 339–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smith-Lovin, L. (2003). Self, Identity, and Interaction in an Ecology of Identities. In P. J. Burke, T. J. Owens, R. T. Serpe, & P. A. Thoits (Eds.), Advances in Identity Theory and Research (pp. 167–178). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stets, J. E., & Burke, P. J. (2014a). Emotions and Identity Nonverification. Social Psychology Quarterly, 77(4), 387–410.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0190272514533708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stets, J. E., & Burke, P. J. (2014b). Self-Esteem and Identities. Sociological Perspectives, 57(4), 409–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stets, J. E., & Carter, M. J. (2006). The Moral Identity: A Principle Level Identity. In K. McClelland & T. J. Fararo (Eds.), Purpose, Meaning, and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology (pp. 293–316). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stets, J. E., & Carter, M. J. (2011). The Moral Self: Applying Identity Theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 74, 192–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stets, J. E., & Carter, M. J. (2012). A Theory of the Self for the Sociology of Morality. American Sociological Review, 77, 120–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stone, G. P. (1962). Appearance and the Self. In A. Rose (Ed.), Human Behavior and Social Processes (pp. 86–118). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  57. Stryker, S. (1980). Symbolic Interactionism: A Social Structural Version. Menlo Park: Benjamin Cummings.Google Scholar
  58. Stryker, S., & Burke, P. J. (2000). The Past, Present, and Future of an Identity Theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63, 284–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stryker, S., & Serpe, R. T. (1982). Commitment, Identity Salience, and Role Behavior: A Theory and Research Example. In W. Ickes & E. S. Knowles (Eds.), Personality, Roles, and Social Behavior (pp. 199–218). New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stryker, S., & Serpe, R. T. (1994). Identity Salience and Psychological Centrality: Equivalent, Overlapping, Or Complementary Concepts? Social Psychology Quarterly, 57(1), 16–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tajfel, H. (1972). Social Categorization. In S. Moscovici (Ed.), Introduction a la Psychologie Sociale, Volume 1 (pp. 272–302). Paris: Larousse.Google Scholar
  62. Tajfel, H. (1982). Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Thoits, P. A. (1983). Multiple Identities and Psychological Well-Being: A Reformulation and Test of the Social Isolation Hypothesis. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 174–187.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Thoits, P. A. (1986). Multiple Identities: Examining Gender and Marital Status Differences in Distress. American Sociological Review, 51(2), 259–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Thoits, P. A. (2012). Role-Identity Salience, Purpose, and Meaning in Life, and Well-Being Among Volunteers. Social Psychology Quarterly, 75(4), 360–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Thoits, P. A. (2013). Self, Identity, Stress, and Mental Health. In C. S. Aneshensel, J. C. Phelan, & A. Bierman (Eds.), Handbook of Sociology of Mental Health, Second Edition (pp. 357-377). Dordrecht. Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media.Google Scholar
  67. Tierney, P., & Farmer, S. M. (2011). Creative Self-Efficacy Development and Creative Performance Over Time. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(2), 277–293.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Turner, J. H. (2010). Theoretical Principles of Sociology, Volume 2: Microdynamics. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Van Knippenberg, D., Van Knippenberg, B., Monden, L., & de Lima, F. (2002). Organizational Identification After a Merger: A Social Identity Perspective. British Journal of Social Psychology, 41(2), 233–252.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466602760060228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Verbrugge, L. M. (1986). Role Burdens and Physical Health of Women and Men. Women and Health, 11(47-77).Google Scholar
  71. Vogel, D. L., Wester, S. R., Hammer, J. H., & Downing-Matibag, T. M. (2014). Referring Men to Seek Help: The Influence of Gender Role Conflict and Stigma. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 15(1), 60–67.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Vryan, K. D., Adler, P. A., & Adler, P. (2006). Identity. In L. T. Reynolds & N. J. Herman-Kinney (Eds.), Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism (pp. 367–390). Lanham: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  73. Waterman, A. S. (1982). Identity Development from Adolescence to Adulthood: An Extension of Theory and a Review of Research. Developmental Psychology, 18(3), 341–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentCalifornia State UniversityNorthridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations