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This article, using a controlled design, reports the results of an exploratory study to investigate the impact of two types of intervention strategies (cognitively vs. emotionally focused) on two types of identity processes (self-construction and self-discovery) in a culturally diverse sample of 90 emerging adult university students. A quasiexperimental design was used to evaluate the relative impact of the cognitively focused self-construction and emotionally focused self-discovery strategies. Quantitative and qualitative results indicated that cognitively focused intervention strategies were most efficacious in affecting self-constructive identity processes, whereas emotionally focused intervention strategies were most efficacious in affecting self-discovery identity processes. This pattern of differential effects suggests that programs intended to broadly affect identity development should include both types of intervention strategies and should target both self-constructive and self-discovery processes.


Originally published in Journal of Adolescent Research. Volume 20. Issue 3. 2005. Pages 309-345.