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Does Family Structure Matter? A Domain Specific 11 Examination of Identity Exploration and Commitment
Youth & Society (2010)
  • Karin Bartoszuk, East Tennessee State University
  • Joe F. Pittman
This exploratory study examines identity exploration and commitment in different domains and how family structure (original/alternative), gender, and age affect these processes in a convenience sample of 388 college students. Results reveal that participants from alternative family structures explore more in the political and gender role domains than do participants from original families. Furthermore, women explore more in the occupational and friendship domains and are more committed in the values and family domains. Younger participants explore less in the gender role domain compared to older ones. Significant interactions reveal that (a) younger women explored the least, and (b) men from alternative families are the least committed in the values domain, compared to all other groups. Findings support the value of exploring the relative impact of family-focused experience on the processes of identity formation and, for the current convenience sample, suggest that growing up in an alternative family structure does not necessarily have a negative impact on identity
  • identity,
  • exploration,
  • committment,
  • family structure,
  • gender,
  • college,
  • students
Publication Date
August 16, 2010
Citation Information
Bartoszuk, K., & Pittman, J. F. (2010). Does Family Structure Matter? A Domain-Specific Examination of Identity Exploration and Commitment. Youth & Society, 42(2), 155–173.