Identity consolidation and health risk behaviors in college students

Seth J. Schwartz, Larry F. Forthun, Russell D. Ravert, Byron L. Zamboanga, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Beryl J. Filton, Su Yeong Kim, Liliana Rodriguez, Robert S. Weisskirch, Michael Vernon, Yuliya Shneyderman, Michelle K. Williams, Bede V. Agocha, Monika Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate the protective role of personal identity consolidation against health risk behaviors in college-attending emerging adults. Methods: A multisite sample of 1546 college students completed measures of personal identity consolidation and recent risk behavior engagement. Results: Multivariate Poisson regression indicated that personal identity consolidation was negatively related to binge drinking, illicit drug use, sexual risk behaviors, and risky driving. These findings were consistent across gender, ethnicity, and place of residence. Conclusions: A consolidated sense of personal identity may protect college-attending emerging adults from health-compromising behaviors. Health professionals could incorporate an identity development component into college health programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Alcohol use
  • College students
  • Identity
  • Illicit drug use
  • Impaired driving
  • Unsafe sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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