Professor Sharon Roberts had three papers published during the past two weeks. These papers are the result of collaborative work with two different international teams.
The first two papers were the product of cross-cultural studies with researchers from Japan and America. The team translated identity measures into Japanese and English and then administered surveys to approximately 500 youth from each of Japan and America. A paper exploring the cross-cultural effects of the Identity Capital Model was published in the Journal of Adolescence, and a paper on the newly constructed and validated measure of Identity Horizons was published in Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research.
The third paper was a result of ongoing collaborations with the International Anthropomorphic Research Project team’s work on the furry fandom (New York, Iowa, Texas) and involved data from over 6000 furries. Furries’ relationship with nonhuman animals was explored via two studies and resulted in the validation of a 10-item Species Connection Scale.
1) Côté, J., Mizokami, S., Roberts, S., Nakama, R. (2016). An examination of the cross-cultural validity of the Identity Capital Model: American and Japanese students compared. Journal of Adolescence, 46, 1, 76-85.
Abstract: The Identity Capital Model proposes that forms of personal agency are associated with identity development as part of the transition to adulthood. This model was examined in two cultural contexts, taking into account age and gender, among college and university students aged 18 to 24 (N = 995). Confirmatory Factor Analyses verified cultural, age, and gender invariance of the two key operationalizations of the model. A Structural Equation Model path analysis confirmed that the model applies in both cultures with minor variations—types of personal agency are associated with the formation of adult- and societal- identities as part of the resolution of the identity stage. It was concluded that forms of personal agency providing the most effective ways of dealing with “individualization” (e.g., internal locus of control) are more important in the transition to adulthood among American students, whereas types of personal agency most effective in dealing with “individualistic collectivism” (e.g., ego strength) are more important among Japanese students.
2) Côté, J., Mizokami, S., Roberts, S., Nakama, R., Meca, A., & Schwartz, S. (2015). The Role of Identity Horizons in Education-to-Work Transitions: A Cross-Cultural Validation Study in the United States and Japan. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 15, 263-286.
Abstract: This article reports on the development and construct validation of the Identity Horizons Scales, an instrument based on the identity horizons model. Participants were postsecondary students aged 18–24 years from Japan (N = 505) and the United States (N = 546). Following exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, a three-factor scale had adequate configural, metric, and partial scalar invariance. Evidence for construct validity was also found. Cross-cultural validity assessments suggest that the new measure can be used in both cultural contexts, and for men and women in both contexts, but that the Japanese configuration of identity horizons is more nuanced than the U.S. pattern. Implications, limitations, and future directions for research using the Identity Horizons Scales in different cultural settings are discussed.
3) Roberts, S., Plante, C., Gerbasi, K., & Reysen, S. (2015). The Anthrozoomorphic Identity: Furry Fandom Members’ Connections to Non-human Animals. Anthrozoos, 28, 4, 533-548.
Abstract: We examined furry fandom members’ anthrozoomorphic identity by investigating this subculture’s relationship with nonhuman animals. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and two large- scale Internet and convention-based studies of furries, we developed (study 1; n = 4,338) and replicated (study 2; n = 1,707) the 10-item Species Connection Scale, which is a three-factor model of felt connection to animals: (1) a sense of appreciation or liking for a species, (2) a sense of spiritual or mystical connection to a species, and (3) a feeling of identification with or as another species. We then used this model to predict participants’ psychological wellbeing and tendency to attribute human-like traits and emotions to animals. The results indicated that (1) liking animals may be related to the ascription of secondary emotions to animals (supported in study 1, but not study 2), but was not associated with participant wellbeing (supported by both studies); (2) a spiritual connection to animals did not necessarily predict greater attribution of primary or secondary emotions to animals, but it was associated with greater psychological wellbeing (positive self-esteem in both studies; life satisfaction in study 1); (3) identification as an animal was strongly associated both with a tendency to avoid attributing secondary emotions to animals and negative participant wellbeing (supported by both studies). This research furthers our understanding of one subcultures’ felt connection with animals and suggests that further explorations of how connection with animals affects human welfare are warranted.