Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Gerald Adams


Gerald Adams


Glendon Casto


John Cragun


Michael Bertoch


College students were assessed as to ego identity status and perceptions of their relationships with parents during their first year away from home. Each parent was also asked to rate the relationship. There was general agreement between parents and adolescents although the data indicate that mothers and adolescents share a more similar view of their relationship than did the fathers and adolescents.

The hypothesis that females would report more affection and communication with their parents than would males was partially supported. Daughters were more communicative with their mothers and were more affectionate toward both parents than were sons.

Several proposed hypotheses were not supported at all. Males were not more independent nor more satisfied with their independence than the female subjects. Foreclosed youths did not visit home more frequently than the other youths, and individuals who frequently visited home were not less independent nor less affective than those who visited home infrequently.

It was also hypothesized that foreclosed and identity achieved youths would report higher levels of affection, communication, and satisfaction with independence in their relationships with parents than would diffused or moratorium youths. One significant result was that foreclosed youths rated themselves as more affectionate than diffused youths toward their mothers..

Another significant finding was in the area of independence. It was hypothesized that the identity achieved and moratorium youths would be more independent from their parents than would the diffused and foreclosed youths. This hypothesis was supported by the adolescents' self-ratings and partially supported by the fathers' ratings.

Overall, several sex and identity status differences were found. Only one identity status difference was found among the female subjects, while several identity status differences were found among the male subjects. Although no cause-and-effect relationships can be concluded, the results do indicate that differences in the relationships with parents do occur at the same time as identity status differences.



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