An analysis of the relationship of gender and levels of instrumentality and expressiveness to the Eriksonian ego identity achievement of young adults
Vidler, Sandra McSwain
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of gender and gender-role orientation, defined as levels of instrumentality and expressiveness, to Eriksonian ego identity achievement in young adults. Erikson's theory of psychosocial development was the theoretical framework for the study. It was hypothesized that a regression model can predict ego identity from the independent variables of instrumentality, expressiveness, gender, self-esteem, age, intergenerational intimacy, significant other intimacy, intergenerational fusion-individuation, intergenerational intimidation, and significant other fusion-individuation. The sample consisted of 156 college students, 73 males and 83 females. Respondents ranged in age from 19 to 25. Ego identity achievement was defined as the respondent's score on Rasmussen's Ego Identity Scale (Rasmussen, 1961). Instrumentality and expressiveness were operationalized as scores on the Instrumental (M) Scale and the Expressive (F) Scale of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence & Helmreich, 1978). Self-esteem was operationalized by scores on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1979). The three individuation variables and the two intimacy variables were operationalized by five subscale scores of the Personal Authority in the Family System Questionnaire, Version C (Williamson, Bray, Malone, 1984). Based on the results of stepwise multiple regression analysis the null hypothesis was not accepted. Instrumentality was the strongest predictor of ego identity achievement level. Self-esteem, significant other fusion-individuation, gender, intergenerational fusion individuation, and significant other intimacy were also significant predictors of ego-identity achievement. Males reported significantly lower ego identity scores than females. Individuation from parents and significant other predicted identity achievement. Results of the investigation did not support the thesis that the psychological meaning of identity is defined by intimacy issues for females and individuation issues for males.
- Doctoral Dissertations