Understanding a student’s ethnic identity process coupled with the student’s sexual identity and psychosocial identity can provide a much more useful and informative portrait of his or her circumstances than merely knowing the student as a “19-year-old sophomore”. This book was developed with both the student affairs professional and the student affairs graduate student in mind. After a brief introduction, it discusses various human development theories such as Schlossberg’s transition theory, Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, Perry’s theory of moral development, and Kolb’s theory of experiential learning as well as personality types based on the Myers–Briggs type indicator. In the subsequent section of the book, the focus is on identity development in college students, with chapters covering Chickering’s Theory and the seven vectors of development, Black and biracial identity development theories, White identity development, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) identity development as well as disability and identity development. and career development theories. The final section of the book describes the factors that impact the selection of careers with chapters discussing the Holland’s theory of career development and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, among other issues. Theory-based chapters open with a vignette in which the reader is presented with specific details of a case study for consideration. At the end of the chapter, the case is revisited and considered using a theoretical framework. Each case vignette provides the reader with immersion into a diverse perspective, and the chapter authors provide a clear discussion of their conceptualization of the student.
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Perry’s theory of development has had a significant impact on the field of psychology and is essential to understanding the cognitive development of college students. This chapter provides an overview of Perry’s theory and describes the ways in which it still applies to college students on a diverse, pluralistic college campus. The chapter discusses how Perry’s theory continues to apply to the diversified college student population common in modern American institutions of higher education. It outlines the ways in which Perry’s scheme applies to Fatima, the contextual and pluralistic challenges faced at each position, and future development, should Fatima continue to courageously accept responsibility for her moral development and overcome the ambiguities of relativism. The chapter describes utilizing Perry’s scheme as a lens through which to view Fatima’s development, anticipate deflections from growth, and identify strategies and campus and community resources to foster inclusivity, personal exploration, and continued development.