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


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.


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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

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