Identity Processing Styles and Psychosocial Balance during Early and Middle Adulthood: The Role of Identity in Intimacy and Generativity
Identity styles and Eriksonian psychosocial balance were examined in young adults (N = 163; 64.4% women) and middle-aged adults (N = 132; 51.5% women). Participants completed self-report measures of identity styles (informational, normative, and diffuse-avoidant), identity commitment, and psychosocial balance (identity, intimacy, and generativity). Different patterns of psychosocial balance were found for each identity style, with largely consistent findings across age groups. The diffuse-avoidant style was negatively associated with all forms of psychosocial balance, the normative style was positively associated with identity and intimacy balance, and the informational style was positively associated with intimacy and generativity. Structural equation modeling revealed that identity balance predicted both intimacy and generativity for the diffuse-avoidant style (negative prediction) and normative style (positive prediction), whereas the informational style provided direct positive prediction of intimacy and generativity. The importance of an informational identity style for psychosocial balance during both early and middle adulthood is discussed.
KeywordsGenerativity Identity Intimacy Psychosocial balance
This research was supported by a grant from the University of Northern British Columbia. Appreciation is extended to Jessica Madrid, Julie Orlando, Gail Pratt, and Cherisse Seaton for assistance with various phases of the research.
- Adams, G. R., Munro, B., Doherty-Poirer, M., Munro, G., Petersen, A. M. R., & Edwards, J. (2001). Diffuse-avoidance, normative, and informational identity styles: Using identity theory to predict maladjustment. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 1, 307–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Berzonsky, M. D. (1990). Self-construction over the lifespan: A process perspective on identity formation. In G. J. Neimeyer & R. A. Neimeyer (Eds.), Advances in personal construct theory (Vol. 1, pp. 155–186). Greenwich, CT: JAI.Google Scholar
- Berzonsky, M. D. (1992b). Identity Style Inventory (ISI3) revised version. Unpublished measure.Google Scholar
- Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Josselson, R. (1996). Revising herself: The story of women’s identity from college to mid-life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Kroger, J. (2007). Identity development: Adolescence through adulthood (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar