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A Self Portrait of Generation Next: A Correlational Study of Cognitive Mindfulness and Identity Development Open Access

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This dissertation research explored the relationship between cognitive mindfulness and identity development among emerging adults (18-29 year olds). The research question was "What are the relationships between mean scores of cognitive mindfulness and identity development among emerging adults?" The sub-question was "What is the impact of the micro-meso-macro systems on emerging adulthood?" The study used a quantitative research design utilizing the Self-Identity Inventory, the Langer Mindfulness Scale, and a few questions relating to Bronfrenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory. The two instruments were used to form one survey consisting of questions in four sections: (1) demographics, (2) self-identity inventory (Sevig, Highlen, & Adams, 2000), (3) cognitive mindfulness (LMS, 2004), and (4) Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfrenbrenner, 2005).A total of 203 of the 226 repondents who completed the survey met inclusion criteria. Descriptive statisticsand correlation using Pearson Product-Moment Coefficient were examined. Data from descriptive statistics indicated that Integration and Internalization scores were significantly higher than any of the other four identity development domains. Similarly, mean scores for Engagement and Novelty Seeking were significantly higher in the cognitive mindfulness domain than any of the other two domains within the construct. Further results suggested that positive and significant relationships exist between cognitive mindfulness and identity development. While most of the relationships were correlated to a strong degree (r > .5), the relationships between Engagement and Individuation (r = .477) and Immersion (r = .475) were moderately correlated (r = .3 to .5). Simiarly, the relationships between Novelty Producing and Individuation (r = .473) and Cognitive Flexibility and Integration (r = .499) were also moderately correlated. In short, this study advances the role of mindfulness and also introduces potential factors that contribute to a more positive integrated sense of self among emerging adults. In addition, findings from frequency analysis using questions from Bronfrenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory suggest that emerging adults are heavily influenced by family and sociocultural values.

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