Positive vs. Negative Correlations between Self-Concept Differentiation (SCD) and Psychological Adjustment, found to be moderated by the Level of Personal Agency (LPA)

[Speaker] Du, Jian:1
[Co-author] Kato, Kazuo:1
1:Kyushu University (Japan)

Is higher SCD (or behavioral variability) more adaptive OR maladaptive (i.e., well-adjusted)? Empirical studies on this issue have been yielding inconsistent findings, however. To understand this inconsistency comprehensively, we introduced LPA as their moderator. LPA (Vallacher & Wegner, 1987. 1989) was defined as the personal tendency of conceptually organizing people's actions into hierarchically meaningful categories (e.g., self-concepts). We hypothesized that high-LPA people are more likely to abstract and organize their own actions more meaningfully and hierarchically than low-level and that if this is the case, higher SCD and LPA ones are more likely to be better adjusted psychologically than their counterparts, because that organizing tendency would give more consistency conceptually, resulting in better adaptive self-control. 300 Chinese college students responded to a questionnaire, including measures of SCD, LPA, and psychological adjustment. Findings confirmed our hypotheses, showing that LPA moderated correlations between SCD and psychological adjustment in the expected way.
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