Your best friend just told you that although he is losing patience with his girlfriend who complains about her job all the time yet doesn’t take any steps to do anything about it, he is confident that if he just gives her time, she will change. Is this likely? Will she change? We can’t know, but we can estimate the likelihood of someone changing, based on the results of research studies conducted with large groups of individuals. One such study happens to be my own, and was published this month in Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research.
The article, “The Role of Conflict in Continuity and Change: Life Events Associated with Identity Development in Racially and Ethnically Diverse Women” was based on an archival data set at Harvard of interviews with women in the 1970s and 1980s. So the results I found certainly will not apply to everyone, but they do reveal patterns of behavior that may very well characterize others.
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