The Influence of Masculinity on Self-Authorship in College Men
Hughes, Byron A.
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The holistic development of college students encompasses their growth academically, socially, and personally and occurs as students master knowledge, develop connections with others, and increase their engagement in the college setting (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, and Whitt, 2013; Mauk, 2011; Shushok, 2008; Sungok, Shim, Ryan, and Cassady, 2012). Self-Authorship is a theory that describes holistic development in people as they transition from externalized to internalized ways of knowing (Baxter Magolda, 2009). The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how constructs of masculinity influence Self-Authorship in college men. The conceptual framework for this study was Baxter Magolda's (2008) dimensions of Self-Authorship: Epistemological, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal. Data were collected through interviews with men in their final year of study in college. The Masculine Behavior Scale (Snell, 1996) was utilized to organize participants into three groups: high scorers, medium scorers, and low scorers, which allowed me to further examine their experiences within the dimensions of Self-Authorship. Analysis of the data revealed three key findings. First, participant scores on the Masculine Behavior Scale declined as their motivation to learn moved from external (status, power, etc.) to internal factors (learning for the sake of learning). Second, high scorers formed relationships that affirmed their abilities. Yet, medium/low scorers developed relationships for the sake of mutual benefit. Lastly, high scorers sought external validation, while medium/low scorers relied upon internal validation.
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