The purpose of our research was to use Day, Harrison, and Halpin’s, (2009) theory of leadership development as a premise to investigate how students’ constructive development is related to their leader identity development and understanding of leadership. Baxter Magolda’s Model of Epistemological Reflection (MER, 1988, 2001) was used to understand constructive development, Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen’s Leadership Identity Development (2005) to determine leader identity, and Drath’s principles of leadership (2001) to determine understanding of leadership. Fifty junior and senior college student leaders filled out the MER and participated in an interview about their leadership experiences. Interviews were coded according to the above constructs of leader identity development and leadership understanding. Although there was a relationship between leader identity development and understanding of leadership, no relationship was found between these two constructs and
constructive development. Findings suggest that most of the student leaders still depend on others to help them construct reality. Furthermore, many believe that because they are in a leadership role, they are leaders while others are not.

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