Although scholars across fields have studied threats to individuals’ identities for their impact and ubiquity, the absence of standard scales has hindered the advancement of this research. Due to the lack of identity threat measures, the myriad existing propositions and models remain untested which may generate skepticism of the field. In the comparatively rare instances where deductive models have been tested, studies often suffer from methodological shortcomings related to the absence of a standard measure (e.g., the use of scales that tap into adjacent constructs) or an assumption of unidimensionality, despite recognition that identity threat can take various forms. Such shortcomings can yield inaccurate conclusions and threaten content validity. In response to these issues, we followed recommended steps to develop three measures capturing threats to identity value, meanings, and enactment. We rigorously validated these measures across different contexts: threats to teachers’ work-related identity, to pregnant women’s leader identity, and to organizational members’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning identities. Our results provide evidence of the psychometric validity of the three measures and their applicability to different types of identities individuals hold. Using our measures, scholars will be able to further explore identity threat triggers and outcomes, the mechanisms underlying the effects of the three different types of threat on outcomes, and temporal dynamics. Researchers can also use our measures in designing interventions. Ultimately, this will allow management and applied psychology scholars to develop better guidance for organizations and employees dealing with the commonplace, yet difficult experience of identity threat. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).
GEORGE, M., STRAUSS, K., MELL, J. et VOUGH, H. (2023). When « who I am » is under threat: Measures of threat to identity value, meanings, and enactment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 108(12), pp. 1952-1978.