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Self-Concept Clarity and Social Role Transitions

Chapter

Abstract

Major transitions in people’s lives often disrupt people’s understanding of who they are. This chapter reviews how people’s social role transitions affect their self-concept clarity. We begin with an overview of these role transitions broadly defined, reviewing literature showing that both entering into a new social role and exiting a social role can undermine self-concept clarity. We then focus specifically on social role transition within romantic relationship contexts. In particular, we review the literature on relationship dissolution and self-concept clarity. Although, in general, the end of a relationship tends to undermine self-concept clarity, we highlight several moderators that can attenuate this effect. We then turn to the consequences of experiencing low self-concept clarity after the end of a relationship for well-being. Finally, we highlight six unresolved issues in this literature and identify directions for future research on social role transitions and self-concept clarity.

Keywords

Self-concept clarity Self-concept Social roles Well-being Romantic relationships Breakup Divorce Relationship dissolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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