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UCLA Student Health Education and Promotion (SHEP)

College students experience growth and development in many areas – not only in academic competence and career preparation, but also in managing emotions, navigating relationships, and more. Growth in the area of one’s identity(ies) is thought to be one of the most important developmental tasks of students who are typically college aged. Understanding the factors that shape a person’s world view, values and social identities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.) contributes to students becoming their authentic selves, and acting in ways aligned with those values and aspects of personal identity. This insight also contributes to students’ ability to understand others, as well as the progression of “typical” development in college and beyond.