Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Gerald R. Adams


Gerald R. Adams


D. Kim Openshaw


Tom Lee


William Dobson


Erikson's (1980) conceptualizations of the adolescent developmental task of identity development as operationalized by Marcia (1966) into four statuses (identity achieved, moratorium, foreclosure and diffusion) have been measured by both interviews and questionnaires. Research using Marcia's (1966) Ego Identity Interview and studies incorporating the Adams and colleagues' Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (EOM-EIS) questionnaire have been reported as having acceptable levels of reliability and validity. However direct status-to-status comparisons of the OM-EIS and the Marcia interview identity status classifications have shown only moderate agreement. This study re-examined the internal consistency and construct validity of the EOM-EIS and the Marcia interview and contrast several strategies of assessing concurrent validity. A convenience sample of 61 16-year-old adolescents were utilized to address these issues.

The major findings included: (a) both instrumentations showed acceptable to sound estimates of internal reliability, internal validity and construct validity, (b) congruence between classification schemes is moderate, (c) most of the convergence between the EOM-EIS and the semistructured interview exists in ideological exploration, and (d) the EOM-EIS displayed superior estimates of predictive validity.

The primary conclusion of this study is, while the EOM-EIS displayed the best overall match with Eriksonian theory, considering the long-term acceptance and usage of the semistructured interview strategy and the limitations of this particular study, that the EOM-EIS and the semistructured interview are approximately equally capable (or incapable) of assessing the underlying psychological processes involved in ego-identity formation. Also some considerations for ego-identity instrumentation are offered and a cubic model of ego-identity classification is proposed.




Original document missing page 201, 203, 205