Term of Award

Summer 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 1

Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 2

Jessica Brooks


Emerging adulthood is a unique transitional period that has only recently been introduced into the literature (Arnett & Taber, 1994). Gaps exist in explicating underlying concepts of positive development in this developmental period. Individuation and emotional intelligence have been identified as crucial developmental tasks for emerging adults (Lapsley & Edgerton, 2002; Fernandez, Salamonson, & Griffiths, 2012). Positive psychology and multicultural psychology theories provide insights into how these components may be promoted over time. The purpose of the study was to identify promotional factors to healthy development outcomes in sample of ethnically diverse emerging adults. Participants in the study included 293 undergraduate students who completed a series of online surveys. Results indicated that cultural congruity was related to emotional intelligence and separation individuation cross-sectionally and longitudinally for European and African American students. However, results revealed some unique correlational patterns when examining the relationships between positive psychological factors and positive developmental outcomes. Positive psychological factors were significantly related to emotional intelligence and separation individuation longitudinally for European American students but not for African American students. Theoretical and practical implications for these findings are discussed in detail.