Date of Award

Winter 12-14-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



A young adult’s years spent at a four-year undergraduate institution constitute a critical time in human development. With the vast array of social, academic, and extracurricular options available for an undergraduate to explore, it is unsurprising that during this time, individuals change in relatively drastic ways compared to other parts of the lifespan (Arnett, 2000; Donnellan, Conger, & Burzette, 2007). A dizzying array of factors may contribute to an individual’s development during the college years: being away from home for the first time, interacting with professors, TAs, friends, and romantic partners, and involvement in academic projects, internships, and university organizations may all contribute to individuals developing in certain ways during this time. Though research continues into the extent to which personality change in young adulthood is driven by both biological and by environmental factors (Bleidorn et al., 2014; Specht et al., 2014), it is clear that personality change occurs for many individuals during this time.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Joshua Jackson

Committee Members

Dr. Patrick Hill, Dr. Tammy English


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