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The Ins and Outs of the Self: Contrasting Role Exits and Role Entries as Predictors of Self-concept Clarity

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A variety of role exits and role entries were examined as potential predictors of self-concept clarity. Using a large, nationally-representative sample of adults, we assessed the number of role exits and role entries each respondent had experienced in the past year. Although both role exits and role entries were negatively correlated with self-concept clarity, subsequent analyses indicated that only role exits significantly predicted self-concept clarity when controlling for demographics, physical health, and self-esteem. Additionally, we found moderate support for a model in which these patterns of results are mediated by increased social isolation and reduced stability of behavioral routines. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of major life transitions and the psychological impact of social roles.
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Keywords: Role transitions; Self-concept clarity; Social roles

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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