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ERIC Number: EJ1131966
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1552-9045
The Relationship between Student Leaders' Constructive Development, Their Leadership Identity, and Their Understanding of Leadership
Sessa, Valerie I.; Ploskonka, Jillian; Alvarez, Elphys L.; Dourdis, Steven; Dixon, Christopher; Bragger, Jennifer D.
Journal of Leadership Education, v15 n1 p15-30 2016
The purpose of our research was to use Day, Harrison, and Halpin's, (2009) theory of leadership development as a premise to investigate how students' constructive development is related to their leader identity development and understanding of leadership. Baxter Magolda's Model of Epistemological Reflection (MER, 1988, 2001) was used to understand constructive development, Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen's Leadership Identity Development (2005) to determine leader identity, and Drath's principles of leadership (2001) to determine understanding of leadership. Fifty junior and senior college student leaders filled out the MER and participated in an interview about their leadership experiences. Interviews were coded according to the above constructs of leader identity development and leadership understanding. Although there was a relationship between leader identity development and understanding of leadership, no relationship was found between these two constructs and constructive development. Findings suggest that most of the student leaders still depend on others to help them construct reality. Furthermore, many believe that because they are in a leadership role, they are leaders while others are not.
Association of Leadership Educators. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A