Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 563–581 | Cite as

Separation-Individuation and Psychological Adjustment in Late Adolescence

  • Grayson N. Holmbeck
  • Catherine Leake

Abstract

This study examined associations between several late adolescent separation-individuation issues (as assessed with the Separation-Individuation Test of Adolescence, SITA) and psychological adjustment (as assessed with the basic scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, MMPI and MMPI-2). Participants were 428 undergraduate college students (265 completed the MMPI and 163 completed the MMPI-2). For each SITA scale, participants were classified as “high scorers” or “low scorers” if they scored in the upper or lower thirds of the scale distributions, respectively. Findings revealed both quantitative and qualitative differences across the separation-individuation dimensions with respect to associations with the MMPI/MMPI-2. Overall, the separation anxiety, engulfment anxiety, and dependency denial scales were more highly associated with maladjustment than were the other SITA scales. The adjustment outcomes of various approaches to managing closeness and distance in interpersonal relationships during late adolescence are discussed.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Acklin, M. W., Bibb, J. L., Boyer, P., and Jain, V. (1991). Early memories as expressions of relationship paradigms: A preliminary investigation. J. Personal. Assess. 57: 177-192.Google Scholar
  2. Belsky, J., and Nezworski, T. (eds.) (1988). Clinical Implications of Attachment. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  3. Blos, P. (1979). The Adolescent Passage. International Universities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Dahlstrom, W. G., Welsh, G. S., and Dahlstrom, L. E. (1975). An MMPI handbook. Vol. II. Research Applications. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN.Google Scholar
  5. Edwards, D. W., Morrison, t. L., and Weissman, H. N. (1993). The MMPI and MMPI-2 in an outpatient sample: Comparisons of code types, validity scales, and clinical scales. J. Personal. Assess. 61: 1-18.Google Scholar
  6. Hathaway, S. R., and McKinley, J. C. (1983). Manual for the Administration and Scoring of the MMPI. National Computer Systems, Minneapolis, MN.Google Scholar
  7. Hathaway, S. R., and McKinley, J. C. (1989). Manual for the administration and scoring of the MMPI-2. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hauser, S. T., and Greene, W. M. (1991). Passages from late adolescence to early adulthood. In Greenspan, S. I., and Pollock, G. H. (eds.), The Course of Life: Vol. IV. Adolescence. International Universities Press, Madison, CT, pp. 377-405.Google Scholar
  9. Holmbeck, G. N., and Wandrei, M. L. (1993). Individual and relational predictors of adjustment in first year college students. J. Counsel. Psychol. 40: 73-78.Google Scholar
  10. Kroger, J. (1995). The differentiation of “firm” and “developmental” foreclosure identity statuses: A longitudinal study. J. Adolesc. Res. 10: 317-337.Google Scholar
  11. Lapsley, D. K., Fitzgerald, D. P., Rice, K. G., and Jackson, S. (1989). Separation-individuation and the “new look” at the imaginary audience and personal fable: A test of an integrative model. Journal of Adolescent Research 4: 483-505.Google Scholar
  12. Levine, J. B., Green, C. J., and Millon, T. (1986). The separation-individuation test of adolescence. J. Personal. Assess. 50: 123-137.Google Scholar
  13. Levine, J. B., and Saintonge, S. (1993). Psychometric properties of the Separation-Individuation Test of Adolescence within a clinical population. J. Clin. Psychol. 49: 492-507.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Mahler, M., Pine, F., and Bergman, A. (1975). The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  15. McClanahan, G., and Holmbeck, G. N. (1992). Separation-individuation, family functioning, and psychological adjustment in college students: A construct validity study of the Separation-Individuation Test of Adolescence. J. Personal. Assess. 59: 468-485.Google Scholar
  16. Papini, D. R., Farmer, F. L., Clark, S. M., and Snell, W. E. (1988). An evaluation of adolescent patterns of sexual self-disclosure to parents and friends. J. Adolesc. Res. 3: 387-401.Google Scholar
  17. Papini, D. R., Micka, J. C., and Barnett, J. K. (1989). Perceptions of intrapsychic and extrapsychic functioning as bases of adolescent ego identity statuses. J. Adolesc. Res. 4: 462-482.Google Scholar
  18. Quintana, S. M., and Kerr, J. (1993). Relational needs in late adolescent separation-individuation. J. Counsel. Develop. 71: 349-354.Google Scholar
  19. Rhodes, B., and Kroger, J. (1992). Parental bonding and separation-individuation difficulties among late adolescent eating disordered women. Child Psychiatry Human Develop. 22: 249-263.Google Scholar
  20. Rice, K. G., Cole, D. A., and Lapsley, D. K. (1990). Separation-individuation, family cohesion, and adjustment to college: Measurement validation and test of a theoretical model. J. Counsel. Psychol. 37: 195-202.Google Scholar
  21. Vartanian, L. R. (1997). Separation-individuation, social support, and adolescent egocentrism: An exploratory study. J. Early Adolesc. 17: 245-270.Google Scholar
  22. Whitworth, R. H., and McBlaine, D. D. (1993). Comparison of the MMPI and MMPI-2 administered to Anglo-and Hispanic-American university students. J. Personal. Assess. 61: 19-27.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grayson N. Holmbeck
    • 1
  • Catherine Leake
    • 2
  1. 1.Loyola University of ChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyLoyola University of ChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations