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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221585 Find in a Library
Title: Identity Representations in Patterns of School Achievement and Well-Being Among Early Adolescent Girls
Journal: Journal of Early Adolescence  Volume:28  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:115-152
Author(s): Robert W. Roeser; Molly Galloway; Shannon Cassey-Cannon; Cary Watson; Laura Keller; Elyn Tan
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 38
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined relations between early adolescent girls well-being, achievement, and emerging identities.
Abstract: Results showed that girls’ moral and student identities were the strongest predictors of their achievement, whereas their moral, student, physical, and peer identities predicted their well-being. Highlighted were the complexities faced by early adolescent girls forging a positive self-narrative as they entered puberty, and in the social dynamics and demands of middle school life. Person-centered results delineated girls into four subgroups based on their profile of well-being and achievement: girls in group 1 (46 percent) were confident, smart, and competitive; they reported multiple identity strengths, almost all of which contributed to their well-being. Younger girls and those from two parent biological families were more likely to be characterized by this identity pattern. Girls in group 2 (35 percent) were confident, attractive, and social; these girls were characterized by high levels of self-esteem, perceived attractiveness, and concerns with acceptance by peers and potential romantic partners. They represented early maturing females who develop Cardinal identities orientated around peer recognition and approval through physical beauty and dating, rather than through adult recognition and approval through academic achievement. Girls in group 3 (12 percent) were unhappy, smart, and unattractive; these girls were similar to group 1 girls in terms of their educational aspirations, despite school related strains; personal accomplishments and goals were overshadowed by their social problems and perceived inadequacies related to physical appearance and peer relationships. Girls in group 4 (7 percent) were struggling for self-esteem, and showed the most negative profile self-esteem, achievement, and identity beliefs across all domains investigated; they showed clear symptoms of emotional distress given their reports of mood interference in relation to their schooling. The sample included 491 girls in grades six through eight, from a lower to middle class suburban neighborhood in the East Bay of San Francisco. Tables, figure, references
Main Term(s): Self concept; Social psychology; Suburban; Youth development
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; California; Group behavior; Individual behavior; Nonviolent behavior; Peer influences on behavior; Social classes
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