Adolescent geek identity transitions and their role in shaping creative behavior
MetadataShow full item record
The present study was designed to investigate the synthetic notion of adolescent Geek identity transitions, the origin of which were owed to prior ethnographic examinations of adolescent Geek cliques and culture (ie., Kinney, 1993; Bishop et al., 2003). Personal and support predictive characteristics of adolescents were evaluated, as the psychosocial context of identity expression had been shown to have an effect on identity transitions of this type (Burke & Stets, 2009). More so, as Geek culture in general has been considered a creative culture (Passlick, 2013; McCain, Gentile, & Campbell, 2015), and adolescent Geek culture in specific has been demonstrated to be similarly creatively facilitative (Blashki & Nichol, 2005; Hodges, 2011), constructs indicative of adolescent Geek identity transition were embedded in an amalgamated creative identity development framework by which the overall effect of the identity transition on creative behavior might be more fully assessed. Responses to a researcher-generated online survey instrument of adolescent Geek identity transitions (the AGIT survey) were evaluated alongside responses to an extant measure of the quality and quantity of creative behaviors, the Creative Activities and Accomplishments Checklist (CAAC: Paek & Runco, 2017). In the main study, 131 adolescent participants (mean age 14.7 years) were recruited to complete both instruments. Findings supported the positions that (a) four developmental trajectories of adolescent Geek identity transition were most clearly expressed in the adolescent population, conceptualized here as the liminal, normalized, balanced, and embraced adolescent Geek identity transition statuses, (b) two characteristics – academic performance and peer support -- most strongly predicted comparative membership among the four statuses, and (c) each of the three Geek-positive statuses demonstrated a unique signature of influence on the quality and quantity of creative behaviors, both generally and across three distinct creative domains, whereas, in contrast, the Geek-negative, liminal, transition status was more strongly associated with poorer quality and quantity of creative behaviors.