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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004 Apr;30(4):487-500.

When multiple identities interfere: the role of identity centrality.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI 48824-1117, USA. settles@msu.edu

Abstract

The current study extends research in the area of identity conflict or interference by focusing on a new identity combination, the woman and scientist identities. In addition, it examines the influence of identity centrality, or importance, as a predictor of interference and moderator of the relation between interference and well-being and science performance. Supporting hypotheses, greater identity interference was related to lower levels of performance and well-being. Furthermore, woman centrality was unrelated to interference for those with a central scientist identity, but for those without a central scientist identity, they were positively related. Although central identities were related to positive outcomes in the absence of interference, the outcomes of all women suffered when interference was high, contrary to the hypothesis. The implications of identity centrality for understanding the negotiation of potentially conflicting identities, and for the retention of women in the sciences, are discussed.

PMID:
15070477
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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