Gender and Identity: The Intersection of Structure, Content, and Context
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The purpose of the present study was twofold: (1) to review empirical studies published between 1966-1995 utilizing J. E. Marcia's [(1966) “Development and Validation of Ego Identity Status,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 3, pp. 551–558] identity status paradigm for the purpose of observing any patterns of gender difference on issues related to identity structure, content, and context; (2) to present results of a single empirical study that examined the question of possible gender differences in how relationships are used in the identity formation process. Results of the review indicated few gender differences in identity structure, content, developmental process, and context; only the domains of sexuality and family roles may hold greater salience for women than men. Results from the single empirical investigation found identity status, rather than gender, to be associated with how relationships were used in the identity formation process. A discussion of possible future research directions on gender and identity status is presented.
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