High school identity climate and student identity development

Yisrael Rich, Elli P. Schachter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This research investigated whether schools characterized by high school students as being rich in identity promoting features contribute to student identity development. A theoretical model posited that student perceptions of teachers as caring role models and their school as cultivating the whole student will foster student exploration and confidence about future identity development. Hypothesized mediators of these effects were student perceptions of a positive social climate, of experiencing meaningful studies and of affirmation of their agency and exploration. Participants were 2787 male and female students from the Jewish public-religious sector in Israel in 152 classes of 25 high schools. Results indicated that (a) schools with identity promoting features contribute to student identity development, (b) teachers as role models is a more potent variable than teacher caring in predicting student identity development and (c) experiencing meaningful studies is an especially important contributor to student exploration and identity confidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date19 Sep 2011
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Identity development
  • Identity exploration
  • School identity climate
  • Teacher caring
  • Teachers as role models


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