Universities are increasingly applying student developmental theories in a variety of contexts in order to better understand students and to accomplish institutional educational objectives. Robert Kegan's constructive-developmental theory has been utilized in the creation of the Community Standards Model, a program designed for use in university residence halls. The purpose of the Model is to promote student development from Kegan's third order of consciousness, in which student identity is based on a fusion of their peers' expectations and ideas, to the fourth order of consciousness, in which one becomes the author of his or her own values, beliefs, and ideals. The Community Standards Model has been in place in Brigham Young University-Provo residence halls since 2000, yet no studies have been done to determine its effects. The present study examined the development of student self-authored identity as it occurred during the implementation of the Community Standards Model at BYU-Provo. The Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Inventory was used to evaluate student development across three general developmental tasks. Two populations were sampled: students at BYU-Provo residence halls, where the Model was practiced, and students from BYU-Idaho residence halls, where the Model was not practiced. Students were tested at the beginning and at the end of the 2004-2005 academic school year. Split plot ANOVAs were conducted and no significant interactions were found for any of the three task scores. This study did not detect any significant differential effects with regard to student developmental task achievement that could be attributed to the Community Standards Model. Study results indicated that the Community Standards Model may not fit well at BYU. Many reasons exist as to why the Model may not promote student self-authored identity at BYU, including a mismatch between the Model's emphasis on self-determination of values and ideals and the institution's imposition of certain behavioral and belief standards. However, the Model may have beneficial effects in other areas, such as the development of community. Further research is needed to more fully understand which effects, if any, the Community Standards Model is having at BYU.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





self-authorship, identity, Kegan, community standards model