Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Randall M. Jones


Randall M. Jones


Scot M. Allgood


Troy E. Beckert


E. Helen Berry


Kay Bradford


The objective of this study was to examine the extent to which college experiences and participation in religious missionary service for an extended period were associated with ego-identity development, specifically in terms of identity exploration and commitment. A sample of late adolescents (N = 425), all of whom had participated in at least some college and of whom 122 had volunteered as LDS missionaries, provided information about their college/missionary experiences that could be related to identity development and reported levels of identity exploration and commitment.

Results indicated that LDS postmissionaries and LDS non-postmissionaries differed significantly only in the variables of sex and age. Both college studies and LDS missionary service were significantly associated with the four EOMEIS-2 subscale scores of diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium, and achievement. The two moratorium experiences differed significantly in the magnitude and/or direction of their prediction of identity outcomes only in moratorium and foreclosure scores. Both experiences were similarly positively associated with achievement scores and negatively associated with diffusion scores. After controlling for age, sex, income, and years of education, numerous features of the two experiences, such as motives for participation, funding, frequency of weekly experiences, and learning a foreign language were significantly associated with identity scores. College features shared the greatest amount of variability with diffusion scores, and mission features shared the greatest amount of variability with foreclosure scores.