All Theories

Jump to alphabetical list with descriptions

Listed by Theme

Overarching Theories and Models

These theories and models span the entire student experience and are sometimes part of a lifelong experience. They are related to the areas of identity development, change and life transitions, and student persistence.

  • Baxter Magolda's Theory of Self-Authorship
  • Chickering's Theory of Identity Development
  • Erikson's Identity Development Theory
  • Intentional Change Theory
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Theory of Moral Development
  • Theory of Women's Development
  • Tinto's Theory of Student Departure
  • Transition Theory
Academic Engagement

We use these theories and models to help students navigate the learning process; reflect on their morals, ethics, and critical thinking skills; and use reflection to guide their future endeavors. To explore courses and workshops, learning resources, disability resources and academic awards and honors, click here.

  • Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory
  • Perry's Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development
  • Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development
  • Reflective Judgment Model
  • Social Cognitive Theory
Career Exploration

We use these theories and models to help students better understand themselves while navigating the career decision making process. To learn about career counseling, resources, experiential learning opportunities and entrepreneurship, click here.

  • Happenstance Learning Theory
  • Jungian Typological Theory
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Theory of Vocational Choice
  • Theory of Vocational Development
Community Engagement

We use the theories and models below as a guide for developing a supportive campus environment for students. To learn more about our campus and local community and find out about student organizations, events and volunteer opportunities, click here.

  • Ecological Systems Theory of Development
  • Environments Approach to Student Learning
  • Principles of Community
  • Unconditional Positive Regard
Diversity and Inclusion

We use the theories and models listed below to help students understand the connection between their background and their identity; develop broad cultural understanding, acceptance and appreciation of others; and engage in the process of advocating for equity. To explore programs and services, groups and resources, and celebrations, click here.

Overarching Theories and Models
  • Principles of Enacting Equity
  • Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity
  • Fowler's Stages of Faith Development
  • Park's Theory of Faith Development
  • College Men's Identity Construction
  • College Men's Gender Identity Development Theory
  • Gender Role Conflict Theory
  • Male Gender Roles and Counseling Concept
  • Men's Reference Group Identity Dependence
  • Theory of Identity Dependence
  • Theory of Identity Development in Women
  • Transgender Identity Development
  • Women's Development Theory
Multicultural Competency
  • Cultural Dimensions Theory
  • Cultural Iceberg Model
  • Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity
  • Multicultural Competence Development Theory
  • U-Curve Theory of Adjustment
Race and Ethnicity
  • Asian American Identity Development Model
  • Black Identity Development Theory
  • Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Identity Development
  • Perspectives on American Indian Identity Development
  • Theory of Racial and Ethnic Development
  • Torres' Model of Hispanic Identity Development
  • White Male Identity Development - The Key Model
  • White Racial Identity Model
Sexual Orientation
  • Heterosexual Identity Development Theory
  • Homosexual Identity Model
  • Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Lifespan Development Model
  • Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Development
  • Multidimensional Model of Heterosexual Identity Development
Health and Wellness

We use the theories and models below to help students better understand the connection between the mind and body and factors that influence their health habits. To learn about leading a healthier life, health and wellness programs and services, medical plans, groups and resources, click here.

  • Five Components of Emotional Intelligence
  • Positive Psychology
  • Six Dimensions of Wellness Model ©1976
  • Social Norms Theory
Involvement and Leadership

We use the theories and models listed below to help students learn more about their strengths, the importance of being involved in the campus community, and the process of making change. To get involved in student government, Greek chapters, advisory boards/councils and more than 170 student organizations, click here.

  • Reframing Organizations
  • StrengthsQuest
  • Theory of Student Involvement

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Listed Alphabetically

Asian American Identity Development Model

Explores an individual's progression in racial identity development, proposing five stages: ethnic awareness, White identification, awakening to political consciousness, redirection to Asian American consciousness, and incorporation.

  • Kim, J. (2001). Asian American identity development theory. In C. L. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson, III (Eds.), New perspectives on racial identity development: A theoretical and practical anthology (pp. 67-90). New York: New York University Press.
Baxter Magolda's Theory of Self-Authorship

Based on William Perry's work, this theory addresses a student's ability to define their own beliefs, identity, and social relationships. Guided by three foundational questions: How do I know, Who am I, and What kind of relationship do I want to construct with others; the Theory of Self Authorship espouses four phases on the journey towards self-definition.

  • Baxter Magolda, M.B. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender-related patterns in students' intellectual development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2001). Making their own way: Narratives for transforming higher education to promote self-development. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Black Identity Development Theory

Describes a lifespan model of six sectors encompassing three patterns of developing a healthy Black identity.

  • Cross, W. E. & Fhagen-Smith, P. (2001). Patterns in African American identity development: A life span perspective. In C. L. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson, III (Eds.), New perspectives on racial identity development: A theoretical and practical anthology (pp. 243-270). New York: New York University Press.
Chickering's Theory of Identity Development

Describes the process students in college go through in developing and understanding their identity: developing competence, managing emotions, moving through autonomy toward interdependence, developing mature interpersonal relationships, establishing identity, developing purpose, and developing integrity.

  • Chickering, A. W., (1969). Education and identity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Chickering, A. W., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
College Men's Gender Identity Development Theory

Addresses the process by which the gender identity of college-aged men develops from adapting and responding to societal norms and expectations, through performing one's interpretation of masculinity, coined as a "mask", and finally to evaluating one's authenticity in a variety of masks, resulting in maintaining certain masks and attempting to remove certain masks.

  • Edwards, K. E. (2009, March). "Putting my man face on": A grounded theory of college men's gender identity development. Journal of College Student Development, 50(2), 210-228.
College Men's Identity Construction

Examines the development of college-aged men's identity as they conform and navigate society's traditional definition and expectations of what it means to be a 'man'. Some of the struggles associated with this development involve scripted gender roles, fear of femininity, feelings of being overly challenged without support, and a sense of confusion about masculinity.

  • Davis, T. L. (2002). Voices of gender role conflict: The social construction of college men's identity. Journal of College Student Development, 43, 508-521.
Cultural Dimensions Theory

Examines how values are influenced by culture and how these values then influence cross-cultural communication and behaviors in the workplace.

  • Hofstede, G. H. (1984). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Cultural Iceberg Model

Suggests that there are conscious and subconscious aspects of culture and the extent to which an individual actively participates in other cultures is reflected in the degree to which they are competent, aware, and accepting of those cultures.

  • Hall, E. T. (1976). Beyond culture. Garden City, NY: Anchor.
Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity

Describes the process by which individuals create awareness surrounding culture and a sensitivity towards differences through the stages of denial, defense, minimization of differences, acceptance, adaptation, and integration.

  • Landis, D., Bennett, J. M., & Bennett, M. J. (2004). Handbook of intercultural training. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ecological Systems Theory of Development

Examines the connection between the person (individual influences), process (experiences and reactions to their environment), context (interactions with systems), and time (the influence of current and past historical events) on an individual's development.

  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (Ed.). (2005). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ecological Theory of Mixed Race Identity Development

Describes patterns for developing a healthy multi-racial self-concept and multi-racial identity transitioning from experiencing the self as a mono-racial individual, to an individual of multiple races, to identification as multi-racial and how that applies in situations and societies.

  • Renn, K. A. (2004). Mixed race students in college: The ecology of race, identity, and community on campus. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Environments Approach to Student Learning

Uses an environmental approach to assess four aspects of a college or university environment: physical, aggregate, organizational, and constructed. Assumes that environments can and should be intentionally designed to promote student learning.

  • Strange, C. C., & Banning, J. H. (2015). Designing for learning: Creating campus environments for student success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Erikson's Identity Development Theory

Identifies eight chronological stages of human development that occur over a person's lifetime. Stages are influenced by a person's environment, culture, and nature. Each stage features a crisis, or "turning point" that must be resolved to a degree in order to successfully approach the next stage.

  • Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.
  • Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.
  • Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: Norton. (Original work published 1959)
Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

Addresses students' ability to identify, assess, and control personal emotions, the emotions of others, and the emotions of groups.

  • Goleman, D. (2000). Working with emotional intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Fowler's Stages of Faith Development

Examines the development of an individual's faith over their life based on six stages, each of which are typically related to an age range. Suggests that traditional-age college students begin to question assumptions of their faith and may re-affirm and/or reject aspects of their faith based on their values.

  • Fowler, J. W. (1981). Stages of faith: The psychology of human development and the quest for meaning. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
Gender Role Conflict Theory

Examines the strain associated with the value, restrictions, and expectations placed on men's gender role. These strains/conflicts may be experienced in four main areas: internally, towards others, from others, and with transitions between various roles.

  • O'Neil, J. M. (2008). Special issue. Men's gender conflict: 25 year research summary. The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 358–476.
Happenstance Learning Theory

States that behavior is the product of learning during both planned and unplanned situations. Explores why individuals choose their paths and how counselors can facilitate this process.

  • Krumboltz, J. D. (2008). The Happenstance Learning Theory. Journal of Career Assessment, 17(2), 135-154.
Heterosexual Identity Development Theory

Describes five statuses of heterosexual identity development: unexplored commitment, active exploration, diffusion, deepening commitment, and synthesis. Also explores development through an internal and external lens.

  • Worthington, R. L., & Mohr, J. J. (2002). Theorizing heterosexual identity development. The Counseling Psychologist, 30, 491-495.
Homosexual Identity Model

Provides six stages of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender identity development: confusion, comparison, tolerance, acceptance, pride, and synthesis.

  • Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity: A concept in need of definition. Journal of Homosexuality, 4, 219-235.
Intentional Change Theory

Suggests that change, particularly when it is intentional, is attainable at all levels of human/social interaction (e.g., individual, team, organization, community). Describes five steps for making lasting change within oneself: discover your ideal self; discover your real self; create your learning agenda; experiment with and practice new habits; and get support.

  • Boyatzis, R. E. (2006). An overview of intentional change from a complexity perspective. Journal of Management Development, 25(7), 607-623.
Jungian Typological Theory

Recognizes that there are four principal psychological functions associated with human existence– sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. These principles can be categorized as rational or irrational and typically an individual is dominant in one over the others.

  • Jung, C. G. (1921). Psychological types. London, England: Kegan Paul Trench Trubner.
Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory

States that effective learning is an integrative process and transformation happens while progressing through four stages of the learning cycle: concrete experience (feeling), reflective observation (watching), abstract conceptualization (thinking), and active experimentation (doing). One can determine the stage in which they prefer to enter the learning cycle by completing the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI).

  • Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Kolb, D. A. (1976). The Learning Styles Inventory: Technical manual. Boston, MA: McBer and Company.
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Lifespan Development Model

Describes the process by which an individual develops over the lifespan in six non-consecutive stages in combination with the development of understanding their identity in the context of oneself, one's peers, and one's family.

  • D'Augelli, A. R. (1994). Identity development and sexual orientation: Toward a model of lesbian, gay, and bisexual identity development. In E. J. Trickett, R. J. Watts, & D. Birman (Eds.), Human diversity: Perspectives on people in context (pp. 312-333). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Male Gender Roles and Counseling Concept

Describes the conflict between traditionally masculine attitudes and the willingness to seek help for dilemmas. The deeper the gender-role conflict, supported by success, power, competition, and restrictive emotions, the more likely men are to turn away from the traditional sense of counseling.

  • Robertson, J. M., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1992). Overcoming the masculine mystique: Preferences for alternative forms of assistance among men who avoid counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 39, 240–246.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Identifies five tiers of human needs: physiological, safety, belonging and love, esteem, and self-actualization. Basic needs must be satisfied before higher level needs emerge.

  • Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.
Men's Reference Group Identity Dependence

Suggests that men's attitudes and beliefs can be influenced by their relationship with groups; these attitudes and beliefs can be internalized and incorporated into their gender role self-concept.

  • Wade, J. C. (1998). Male reference group identity dependence: A theory of male identity. The Counseling Psychologist, 26(3), 349-383.
Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Development

Describes the process of developing gay and lesbian sexual identities and the process of becoming part of the gay and lesbian community.

  • Fassinger, R. E. (1998). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identity and student development theory. In R. L. Sanlo (Ed.), Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender college students: A handbook for faculty and administrators (pp. 13-22). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity

Examines how individuals understand, embrace, and apply the different components of their identity to their sense of self and in their everyday lives. This development is influenced by environmental factors, stereotypes, life experiences, personal background, etc.

  • Jones, S. R., & McEwen, M. K. (2000, July/August). A conceptual model of multiple dimensions of identity. Journal of College Student Development, 41(4), 405-414.
Multicultural Competence Development Theory

Describes the process by which professionals in student affairs can address their competence surrounding issues such as race, gender, physical ability, age, income, and other social variables that can contribute to the difficulty in creating an environment that is welcoming for all students.

  • Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2004). Multicultural competence in student affairs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Multidimensional Model of Heterosexual Identity Development

Describes six areas that influence the development of sexual identity: biology; microsocial context; gender norms and socialization; culture; religious orientation; and systemic homonegativity, sexual prejudice, and privilege.

  • Worthington, R. L., Savoy, H. B., Dillon, F. R., & Vernaglia, E. R. (2002). Heterosexual identity development: A multidimensional model of individuals and social identity. Counseling Psychologist, 30, 496-531.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Based on Jung's work, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is used to help students better understand their personalities, strengths, weaknesses and those of others. The MBTI instrument identifies sixteen types of personalities based on the following dimensions: extroversion versus introversion, intuition versus sensing, thinking versus, feeling, and perceiving versus judging.

  • Briggs, K. C., & Myers, I. B. (1944). The Briggs Myers Type Indicator Handbook. Unpublished manuscript, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
  • Briggs Myers, I. B. (1962). Manual: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
  • Myers, I. B. & McCaulley, M.H. (1985). Manual: A guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. (2nd ed.).Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press.
  • Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H., Quenk, N. L., Hammer, A. L. (1998). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
  • Myers, I. B. (2003). MBTI manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument. Mountain View, CA: CPP.
  • Chickering, A. W., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Tieger, P. D., & Barron-Tieger, B. (2007). Do what you are: Discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Parks' Theory of Faith Development

Examines the transition from adolescence to adulthood based on knowledge and truth. Suggests that an individual's development is related to their overall understanding of knowledge and truth, the extent to which they rely on authority figures to shape and share knowledge and truth, and the level of support their community provides in helping them explore and contribute to knowledge and truth.

  • Parks, S. D. (1986). The critical years: Young adults and the search for meaning, faith, and commitment. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
Perry's Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development

Describes stages of intellectual and moral development:

  1. Relying on authorities for answers
  2. Understanding that authorities have differing opinions
  3. Believing that all views are valuable
  4. Understanding that answers vary based on individual situations
  5. Recognizing that some views are more valid than others
  6. Realizing the need to take responsibility for making decisions
  7. Committing to respecting the opinions of others, remaining open minded to new perspectives, and consistently using personal values to guide decisions
  • Perry, W. G. (1970). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years: A scheme. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
  • Perry, W. J. (1997). Cognitive and Ethical Growth: The Making of Meaning. In K. D. Arnold Jr. & I. Carreiro King (Authors), College student development and academic life: Psychological, intellectual, social, and moral issues (pp. 76-89). New York: Garland Publishing.
Perspectives on American Indian Identity Development

Recognizing no single self-definition or generalized approach, provides a framework for understanding individual and group(s) awareness of American Indian languages, histories, cultures, traditions, and their impact on individual identity development.

  • Horse, P. G. (2001) Reflections on American Indian identity. In C. L. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson, III (Eds.), New perspectives on racial identity development: A theoretical and practical anthology (pp. 91-107). New York: New York University Press.
Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Describes the stages of knowledge development and application and explains how a person's understanding impacts their previous perceptions as well as other aspects of their life (e.g., language).

  • Piaget, J. (1932). The moral judgment of the child. London, England: Routledge.
Positive Psychology

Describes an area of psychology that emphasizes well-being through the use of optimism, positive emotions, spirituality, happiness, satisfaction and personal development. It is used to help individuals transition from negative to positive thinking in order to achieve fulfilment.

  • Seligman, M. E. (1996). The optimistic child: Proven program to safeguard children from depression and build lifelong resilience. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.
Principles for Enacting Equity

Describes the development and understanding of equity in an educational setting through five detailed phases related to clarification, awareness, equitable practice and policies, learning and critical thinking, and systemic adoption of equitable principles.

  • Five Principles for Creating Equity by Design. (2015). (1st ed.) Retrieved from
  • Witham, K., Malcom-Piqueux, L. E., Dowd, A. C., & Bensimon, E. M. (2015). America's unmet promise: The imperative for equity in higher education. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Principles of Community

States that college campuses should be educationally purposeful, open, just, disciplined, caring, and celebrative. These six Principles, when affirmed together, provide a framework on which to build a community.

  • Boyer, E. L. (1990). Campus life: In search of community. A special report. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Reflective Judgment Model

Based on intellectual development theory, this model describes seven stages for developing critical thinking and sound judgment through reflection.

  • King, P. M., & Kitchener, K. S. (1994). Developing reflective judgment: Understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Reframing Organizations

Describes four frameworks through which people view their world: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. Explores the notion of operational understanding and the use of multiple frameworks to solve problems and affect change in an organization.

  • Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2013). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Six Dimensions of Wellness Model

Describes how a person becomes more aware of the interconnectedness between the six different dimensions of wellness and how together they contribute to healthy living as a whole: occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional. Model © 1976 by Bill Hettler, MD, Co-founder, National Wellness Institute.

  • Hettler, B. (1980). Wellness promotion on a university campus. Family & Community Health, 3(1), 77-95.
Social Cognitive Theory

Examines factors that influence individual behavior and lead to behavioral change. Suggests that these factors include the environment, observations of others' behaviors and subsequent outcomes, personal characteristics (i.e., values), and abilities (i.e., thinking ahead, planning, reflection, regulating one's behavior, and attaching meaning to events through the use of symbols).

  • Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Social Norms Theory

States that many students have misperceptions about their peers' and community members' activities (e.g., drug use, alcohol use, sexual conduct, eating disorders) and if unchallenged, will align their attitudes and behaviors to match their perceptions of others.

  • Perkins, HW and Berkowitz, AD (1986). Perceiving the Community Norms of Alcohol Use Among Students: Some Research Implications for Campus Alcohol Education Programming. International Journal of the Addictions, 21:961-976.
  • Berkowitz, A. D. (2005). An overview of the social norms approach. In L. Lederman, L. Stewart, F. Goodhart and L. Laitman (Eds.), Changing the culture of college drinking: A socially situated prevention campaign (pp. 193-214). New York, NY: Hampton Press.

An application used to discover, apply, and develop personal skills and talents based on positive psychology.

  • Clifton, D. O., Anderson, E., & Schreiner, L. A. (2006). StrengthsQuest: Discover and develop your strengths in academics, career, and beyond. Washington, D.C.: Gallup Organization.
Theory of Identity Development in Women

Examines female identity development with regard to one's identity exploration and identity commitment. These identity statuses include moratorium, identity diffusion, identity foreclosure, and identity achievement. Furthermore, Josselson examines the intersection of race and gender identities.

  • Josselson, R. E. (1987). Finding herself: Pathways to identity development in women. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Theory of Moral Development

Built upon Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development, this theory includes three levels of moral reasoning that are based upon consequences, social norms, and personal ethical principles/perspectives.

  • Kohlberg, L. (1958). The development of modes of moral thinking and choice in the years ten to sixteen. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago.
Theory of Racial and Ethnic Development

Describes a three-stage process of exploring and committing to one's racial and ethnic identity which eventually leads to developing a social identity based on ethnic group membership.

  • Phinney, J. S. (1990). Ethnic identity in adolescents and adults: Review of research. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 499-514.
Theory of Student Involvement

Suggests that co-curricular student involvement has a direct impact on student development and change throughout their college career. It also states that co-curricular involvement has an impact on students' characteristics, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and values which lasts beyond graduation.

  • Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308.
Theory of Vocational Choice

Indicates that individuals seek out environments where their personality is aligned with the characteristics of their work environment and career path. It posits six personality types and work environments: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, conventional.

  • Holland, J. L. (1973). Making vocational choices: A theory of careers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Theory of Vocational Development

States that career choices and preferences are adapted based on perspective, time, and maturity. Describes five stages throughout the working life: growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement.

  • Super, D. E. (1953, May). A theory of vocational development. American Psychologist, 8(5), 185-190.
Theory of Women's Moral Development

Describes three levels of ethical and moral development of women: orientation to individual survival, goodness as self-sacrifice, and the morality of nonviolence. It also explains the transitions between each level. Theory asserts women view care and responsibility to others and relationships as critical foundations in decision making.

  • Gilligan, C. (1977). In a different voice: Women's conception of self and morality. Harvard Educational Review, 47, 481-517.
Tinto's Theory of Student Departure

Based on the work of Emile Durkheim and Arnold Van Gennep, this theory suggests that student departure is dependent upon students' level of academic and social engagement, integration into the university, and the university's commitment to student success.

  • Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Torres' Model of Hispanic Identity Development

Suggests students' personal identity development and integration is a process defined by internal conflicts and peer/societal expectations. Offers four cultural orientation quadrants, and a grounded theory focused on identity development in the first two years of college orientated around conditions for situating identity and conditions for change.

  • Torres, V. (1999). Validation of a bicultural orientation model for Hispanic college students. Journal of College Student Development, 40, 285-298.
  • Torres, V. (2003). Influences on ethnic identity development of Latino college students in the first two years of college. Journal of College Student Development, 44, 532-547.
Transgender Identity Development

Describes the impact of both harmful and supportive environments on transgender individuals and their identity development. Examines the factors (e.g., financial, safety, psychological) related to the extent to which individuals can be authentic in their gender identity.

  • Levitt, H. M., & Ippolito, M. R. (2014). Being transgender: The experience of transgender identity development. Journal of Homosexuality, 61(12), 1727-1758.
Transition Theory

Based on the work of Nancy Schlossberg, this theory explains the transitions adults experience during major life events and identifies four factors that influence how they cope during these transitions: situation, self, supports, and strategies. Transitions include changes in roles, relationships, routines and/or assumptions. This theory is further tailored to students in terms of their psychosocial, cognitive, emotional, ethical and social development.

  • Schlossberg, N. K. (1984). Counseling adults in transition. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Schlossberg, N., Lynch, A. & Chickering, A. (1989). Improving higher education environments for adults: Responsive programs and services from entry to departure. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Goodman, J., Schlossberg, N. K, & Anderson, M. L., (2006). Counseling adults in transition (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
  • Anderson, M., Goodman, J., & Schlossberg, N. (2012). Counseling adults in transition: Linking Schlossberg's theory with practice in a diverse world (4th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
U-Curve Theory of Adjustment

Explains the stages students experiences when introduced to a new culture, starting with the honeymoon phase followed by culture shock and ending in cultural adaptation.

  • Lysgaard, S. (1955). Adjustment in a foreign society: Norwegian Fulbright grantees visiting the United States. International Social Science Bulletin, 7, 45-51.
Unconditional Positive Regard

Assumes that for healthy development, an individual needs an environment that provides genuineness, acceptance, and empathy.

  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships as developed in the client-centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
White Male Identity Development - The Key Model

Related to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, this model describes how White men understand their privilege and the impact of their privileges on others.

  • Scott, D. A., & Robinson, T. L. (2001). White male identity development: The Key model. Journal of Counseling & Development, 79(4), 415-421.
  • Scott, D. A. (2009). White male identity development and the world of work, using the Key Model. In G. R. Walz, J. C. Bleuer & R. K. Yep (Eds.), Compelling counseling interventions: VISTAS 2009 (pp. 21-29). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
White Racial Identity Model

Provides steps for understanding and abandoning White privilege and defining oneself with a non-racist identity: contact, disintegration, reintegration, pseudo-independence, immersion/emersion, and autonomy.

  • Helms, J. E. (1995). An update of Helms's White and people of color racial identity models. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling (pp.181-198). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Women's Development Theory

Describes the impact of systems on women's intellectual development. Provides insight on women's perspectives based on being silent, using their voices, listening to others, learning through personal experience, sharing knowledge, developing critical thinking skills and contributing new knowledge.

  • Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B. M., Goldberger, N. R., & Tarule, J. M. (1986). Women's ways of knowing: The development of self, voice, and mind. New York, NY: Basic.

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