The divided self and psychological (mal) adjustment: A meta-analytic review

W. Bleidorn, C. Ködding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Classic and contemporary lines of research have studied the psychological meaning of self-concept differentiation (SCD), the tendency to see oneself as having different personality characteristics in different social contexts. A key question is whether SCD signifies specialization or, rather, indicates fragmentation and psychological maladjustment. Here we provide the first meta-analytic review of findings from more than 50 years of research on SCD and psychological adjustment (k = 54 samples). Results provided overall evidence for the fragmentation position and the importance of a consistent self-concept for an individual’s adjustment. However, continuous moderator analyses revealed that the effect largely depends on the individual’s cultural background. The more individualistic the cultural sample, the stronger the link between SCD and psychological maladjustment.
Keywords: Self-concept differentiation, Psychological adjustment, Culture, Social roles, Personality
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-552
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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