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Chickering’s Theory of Identity Development
 
 

Chickering’s Theory of Identity Development is a psychosocial theory that views development as a series of tasks or stages dealing with thinking, feeling, believing, and relating to others.  Chickering proposed seven vectors of development that contribute to the formation of identity.  Students move through these vectors at different rates, vectors can interact with each other and students often find themselves re-examining issues associated with vectors they had previously worked through.  Although not rigidly sequential, vectors do build on each other, leading to greater complexity, stability and intellectual aspects of development.  The seven vectors are:

  • Developing Competence
  • Managing Emotions
  • Moving through Autonomy toward Interdependence
  • Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships
  • Establishing Identity
  • Developing Purpose
  • Developing Integrity

          Chickering, A.W. & Reisser, L.W. (1993). Education and Identity. 2nd ed. Jossey Bass: San Francisco.

 
 


Questions or comments?
maureen. chea@trinity.edu

 


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