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Title: A New Pathway to University Retention? Identity Fusion With University Predicts Retention Independently of Grades
Individuals who are “strongly fused” with a group view the group as self-defining. As such, they should be particularly reluctant to leave it. For the first time, we investigate the implications of identity fusion for university retention. We found that students who were strongly fused with their university (+1 SD) were 7–9% points more likely than weakly fused students (−1 SD) to remain in school up to a year later. Fusion with university predicted subsequent retention in four samples ( N = 3,193) and held while controlling for demographics, personality, prior academic performance, and belonging uncertainty. Interestingly, fusion with university was largely unrelated to grades, suggesting that identity fusion provides a novel pathway to retention independent of established pathways like academic performance. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.  more » « less
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Social Psychological and Personality Science
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National Science Foundation
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