Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development


Randall M. Jones


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between adolescent sexual behavior, motivations, and identity status. A review of the literature indicated that deviant behaviors covary, and that drug use and abuse and the motivations for same are related to identity status .

A questionnaire, including the Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status(EOM-EIS) and a series of questions to gather information about sexual behaviors and motivations, was employed. The sample consisted of 579 university students ranging in age from 17 to 25.

The dependent variable (sexual behavior and motivation) was viewed through the categorical assignments of identity status achieved, moratorium, foreclosed, and diffused, as well as through individual scores. As anticipated there was a relationship between sexual behavior and identity status; specifically, risky sexual behavior was positively correlated with identity diffusion, and abstinence with identity foreclosure. Adolescents in all statuses were equally consistent users of contraception, not just identity achieved as hypothesized. There was not a clear response pattern mediated by identity status as initially anticipated. Implications were discussed.