Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Valerie Sessa

Committee Member

Kenneth Sumner

Committee Member

Jennifer Bragger


Although college faculty and administrators provide many types of leadership development opportunities for college students, there has been little research connecting leadership development in college with adult learning theory. This mixed method descriptive study examines the impact of learning patterns based on information processing preferences on the leadership development “events” experienced by college student leaders. 44 Junior and Senior college student leaders were administered the Learning Connections Inventory (Johnston, 1994) to identify their learning patterns. In addition, the students participated in an interview to assess key events they felt crucial to their leadership development. It was predicted that particular learning pattern combinations would significantly relate to the types of events found to be significant. MANOVAs were preformed to investigate a connection between learning patterns and the types of events students experienced. Results found a significant difference between the events participants chose as significant based on their learning pattern combinations. Specifically, individuals whose learning pattern combination was technical and confluent chose significantly different events in the Challenging Assignments category than individuals’ whose learning pattern combination was sequence, technical, or confluence. In addition, individuals’ whose learning processing pattern combination was sequence, precision, and confluence chose significantly different events in the Other Events category than those with the learning pattern combination of sequence or technical. Results also support differences between pattern combinations and a higher representation of dominant patterns of sequence and precision. The significance and implications of these findings are discussed.

File Format


Included in

Psychology Commons