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


Brent C. Miller


Frank Ascione


The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlational and casual connection between identity and intimacy development in later adolescents using lagged data and multiple measures of each construct. Developmental paths were hypothesized from four theoretically based models and designed to investigate gender and sex role orientation differences in the relationship of identity and intimacy formation. Identity was measured by the Revised Version of the Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status. Both identity and intimacy were assessed by the Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory and the Inventory of Psychosocial Development. The Bem Sex Role Inventory and the Questionnaire Measure of Emotional Empathy were used to assess sex role orientation. Using a two-wave cross-lag panel design, the pattern of correlational dominance between identity and intimacy was examined and directionality inferred. The results indicate that when examining gender differences, with sex role identification removed from the assessment of identity and intimacy, identity appears to be a dominant precursor to intimacy for both sexes. However, sex role orientation does appear to mediate the identity/intimacy relationship, where for males femininity enhances the identity/intimacy association but does not change the general male pattern of identity predicting intimacy. For females, a masculine sex role orientation results in a pattern similar to either masculine or feminine males, while femininity is associated with a more fused connection between identity and intimacy