Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Eura Jung

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Fei Xue

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Kathryn Anthony

Committee Member 3 School



Using Communication Theory of Identity as a framework, this study compared an individual’s online and offline personal-enacted identity gap and examined the effect of each personal-enacted identity gap on individuals’ psychological well-being, as well as tested four cross-contextual predictors for online and offline personal-enacted identity gaps.

Survey data were collected from 214 participants on Amazon M-Turk. A sequence of hypotheses was tested. A questionnaire used for measuring individuals’ online personal-enacted identity gap was generated.

The result suggested individuals experience larger personal-enacted identity gap offline, which significantly negative predict individuals’ psychological well-being, whereas online personal-enacted identity gap positively predicts psychological well-being. Both online and offline personal-enacted identity gap mediate the effects of communication competence, social anxiety, online disinhibition, and social information control on individuals’ psychological well-being.