Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 373–384 | Cite as

Identity Development and Attachment to Parents in College Students

  • Jessica Samuolis
  • Kiera Layburn
  • Kathleen M. Schiaffino
Article

Abstract

Previous research reveals the need to study adolescents' levels of exploration and commitment instead of overall identity categories for the purpose of identifying developmental trends in identity development. Similarly, attachment research points to the importance of considering separate measures of attachment to mother and attachment to father, as well as considering gender differences in attachment to parents. We tested the hypothesis regarding the relative levels of the identity-related constructs of commitment and exploration in relationship to adolescent males' and females' attachment to parents. The self-report data from 100 first-year college students suggests that females had significantly higher levels of exploration and commitment than the male subjects. Females' identity development was related to attachment relationships to parents, especially attachment to mother, while males' identity development was unrelated to attachment to either parent. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the development of university student services.

Keywords

Gender Difference College Student Male Subject Relative Level Adolescent Male 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Ainsworth, M. D. S. (1982). Attachment: Retrospect and prospect. In Parkes, C. M., and Stevenson-Hinde, J. (eds.), The Place of Attachment in Human Behavior. Basic Books, New York, pp. 3–30.Google Scholar
  2. Armsden, G. C., and Greenberger, M. T. (1987). The inventory of parent and peer attachment: Individual differences and their relationship to psychological well-being in adolescence. J. Youth Adolesc. 16: 427–452.Google Scholar
  3. Balk, D. E. (1995). Adolescent Development: Early Through Late Adolescence. Brooks-Cole, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Balistreri, E., Busch-Rossnagel, N. A., and Geisinger, K. F. (1995). Development and preliminary validation of the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire. J. Adolesc. 18: 179–192.Google Scholar
  5. Benson, M. J., Harris, P. B., and Rogers, C. S. (1992). Identity consequences of attachment to mothers and fathers among late adolescents. J. Res. Adolesc. 2: 187–204.Google Scholar
  6. Berman, W. H. (1988). The relationship of ex-spouse attachment and adjustment following divorce. J. Fam. Psychol. 1: 312–328.Google Scholar
  7. Berman, W. H., and Sperling, M.B. (1991). Parental attachment and emotional distress in the transition to college. J. Youth Adolesc. 20: 427–440.Google Scholar
  8. Berman, W. H., Heiss, G. E., and Sperling, M. B. (1994). Measuring continued attachment to parents: The Continued Attachment Scale—Parent Version. Psychol. Rep. 75: 171–182.Google Scholar
  9. Bowlby, J. (1969/1982). Attachment and Loss: Vol I. Attachment. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and Loss: Vol III. Loss Sadness and Depression. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and Crisis. W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Fullwinder-Bush, N., and Jacobvitz, D. B. (1993). The transition to young adulthood: Generational boundary dissolution and female identity development. Fam. Process 32: 87–103.Google Scholar
  14. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a Different Voice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Greenberger, E., and McLaughlin, C. S. (1998). Attachment, coping and explanatory style in late adolescence. J. Youth Adolesc. 27: 121–139.Google Scholar
  16. Grotevant, H., and Adams, G. R. (1984). Development of an objective measure to assess ego identity in adolescence: Validation and replication. J. Youth Adolesc. 13: 419–438.Google Scholar
  17. Grotevant, H., and Cooper, C. (1985). Patterns of interaction in family relationships and the development of identity and role-taking skill in adolescence. Child Dev. 56: 415–428.Google Scholar
  18. Harvey, M., and Byrd, M. (1998). The relationship between perceptions of self-esteem, patterns of familial attachment, and family environment during early and late phases of adolescence. Int. J. Youth Adolesc. 7: 93–111.Google Scholar
  19. 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
  20. Josselson, R. (1988). The embedded self: I and thou revisited. In Lapsley, D., and Power, F. (eds.), Self, Ego, and Identity: Integrative Approaches. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 91–106.Google Scholar
  21. Kobak, R. R., and Sceery, A. (1988). Attachment in late adolescence:Working models, affect regulation, and representations of self and others. Child Dev. 59: 135–146.Google Scholar
  22. Lapsley, D. K., Rice, K. G., and Fitzgerald, D. P. (1990). Adolescent attachment, identity and adjustment to college: Implications for the continuity of adaptation hypothesis. J. Counsel. Dev. 68: 561–565.Google Scholar
  23. Marcia, J. E. (1966). Development and validation of ego-identity status. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 3: 551–558.Google Scholar
  24. Marcia, J. E. (1980). Identity in adolescence. In Adelson, J. (ed.), Handbook of Adolescent Psychology. Wiley, New York, pp.159–187.Google Scholar
  25. Marcia, J. E. (1983). Some directions for the investigation of ego-development in early adolescence. J. Early Adolesc. 3: 215–223.Google Scholar
  26. Meeus, W. (1996). Studies on identity development in adolescence: An overview of research and some new data. J. Youth Adolesc. 25: 569–598.Google Scholar
  27. Rice, K. G., Fitzgerald, D. P., Whaley, T. J., and Gibbs, C. L. (1995). Cross-sectional and longitudinal examination of attachment, separation-individuation, and college student adjustment. J. Counsel. Dev. 73: 463–474.Google Scholar
  28. Rice, K. G., and Whaley, T. J. (1994). A short-term longitudinal study of within-semester stability and change in attachment and college student adjustment. J. College Student Dev. 35: 324–330.Google Scholar
  29. Schultheiss, D. P., and Blustein, D. L. (1994a). Contributions of family relationship factors to the identity formation process. J. Counsel. Dev. 73: 159–166.Google Scholar
  30. Schultheiss, D. P., and Blustein, D. L. (1994b). Role of adolescent-parent relationships in college student development and adjustment. J. Counsel. Psychol. 41: 248–255.Google Scholar
  31. Quintana, S. M., and Lapsley, D. K. (1990). Rapproachment in late adolescent separation-individuation: A structural equations approach. J. Adolesc. 13: 371–385.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Samuolis
    • 1
  • Kiera Layburn
    • 1
  • Kathleen M. Schiaffino
    • 2
  1. 1.Fordham UniversityBronx
  2. 2.Fordham UniversityBronx

Personalised recommendations