Identity Styles, Mediated by Commitment and Syncretism, as Predictors of Undergraduate Students' Attitudes Toward Selected Discipleship Practices at Valley View University in Ghana in 2015: Implications for Religious Education
The study of student life on campus has attracted numerous social science enquiries especially in the areas of spirituality, religiosity, and meaning making in life. Of particular interest has been the attempt to restore value-based education in Christian institutions of higher learning, taking cognizance of the need for cultural contextualization and the influence of postmodern ideology. This present study sought to examine the possible predictive role of identity styles, mediated by commitment and syncretism, in the attitudes towards discipleship practices among undergraduate students of Valley View University in Ghana, West Africa in 2015.
The study employed the principles of a quantitative, non-experimental, crosssectional survey. Non-random convenient sampling method was used to collect data. Eight hundred students were sampled from the second to the fourth year groups. The study used path analysis as the main technique to examine the data.
All the endogenous variables were significantly predicted (Commitment [R 2= .400], Syncretism [R 2= .278], Satisfaction [R 2= .020], and Involvement [R 2= .482]) in their respective hierarchical path models. However, the overall hypothesized model did not fit the data. The total effects of the exogenous variables (i.e., Informational identity style, Normative identity style, and Diffuse-avoidant identity style) on satisfaction (.118; .009; and .028, respectively) and on involvement (.082; .006; and .019, respectively) were weak. However, there were significant relationships between some variables, which have important implications for discipleship and religious education in higher education.
The results of the study showed that students’ self-reported identity styles did not significantly predict their satisfaction and involvement in discipleship practices at Valley View University. These results are in line with the biblical perspective of discipleship, in that Christian discipleship does not primarily depend on what the prospective disciples are at the point of their calling, but on the way in which they are led to encounter Jesus Christ.