Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 705–732

The Psychosocial Inventory of Ego Strengths: Development and Validation of a New Eriksonian Measure

  • Carol A. Markstrom
  • Vicky M. Sabino
  • Bonnie J. Turner
  • Rachel C. Berman

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022348709532

Cite this article as:
Markstrom, C.A., Sabino, V.M., Turner, B.J. et al. Journal of Youth and Adolescence (1997) 26: 705. doi:10.1023/A:1022348709532


An underexamined component of Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory is the concept of ego strengths. The eight ego strengths are present throughout the life span, but each have their ascendance in conjunction with successful psychosocial stage resolutions. Upon careful analysis of Erikson's writings, the Psychosocial Inventory of Ego Strengths (PIES) was developed to assess this component of psychosocial theory. The measure was scrutinized by several Eriksonian scholars for its face and content validity. Then, two studies were conducted among college samples in the United States and Canada. Evidence for internal consistency was shown for the eight ego strengths, as well as on overall score. Convergent validity was shown between the PIES and assessments of identity achievement, self-esteem, purpose in life, internal locus of control, and sex roles. Discriminant validity was observed in negative correlations between the ego strengths and hopelessness, identity diffusion, identity moratorium, and personal distress. Suggestions for future research utilizing this measure are given.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol A. Markstrom
    • 1
  • Vicky M. Sabino
    • 2
  • Bonnie J. Turner
    • 3
  • Rachel C. Berman
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Family ResourcesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantown
  2. 2.Bloor View Children's HospitalWillowdaleCanada
  3. 3.Addiction Research FoundationCanada
  4. 4.University of GuelphGuelph

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