Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Charles Gressard

Committee Member

Victoria Foster

Committee Member

Thomas Ward


This study examines the relationship between college students’ developmental level of identity formation and their choice to make intentional changes in behavior. Specifically, it examines whether there is a relationship between the level of identity development of college students according to Chickering’s model, measured by the Erwin Identity Scale (EIS), and the level of Readiness for Change concerning alcohol use following the Stages of Change Model by Prochaska and DiClemente. Correlational analyses in the form of multivariate regression is used to examine relationships between the various assessment measures. This helped answer the research questions: Is there a relationship between identity formation developmental levels and Readiness for Change, and do the subscales from the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale (SOCRATES) relate individually to any of the subscales of the EIS? The results of the multiple regression analysis conducted with the Recognition subscale of the SOCRATES as the dependent variable and the three subscales of the EIS as the predictors indicated that two of the EIS subscales, Sexual Identity and Comfort about Body and Appearance had a significant relationship to Recognition. The EIS subscale of Confidence showed no significant relationship to Recognition. The possibilities of linking developmental level and issues around changing the drinking behavior of college students open up a way of evaluating college students’, which could alter the counselors’ approach to which interventions they would choose. Since the choice of intervention is imperative to the success of the counseling process, the college students’ level of identity formation may be related to Readiness for Change, and that by identifying students’ identity level and matching the identity level with counseling approaches, counselors may be more effective in helping students make changes in potentially harmful drinking practices.



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