Summary / Abstract

Title: Ego-identity status and narrative structure in retrospective accounts of parental career influence

Synopsis: In this paper, the relationship between identity status categories and the experience of parentalinfluence on career development is examined. The life stories of 11 young adults regarding significant events through which theirparents influenced them were classified by narrative structure based on Gergen and Gergen's macrostructure framework. The resultingnarrative types were then assessed in terms of their relationship to each participant's score on the Extended ObjectiveMeasure of Ego-Identity Status. Both observational associations and Fisher's Exact Tests of Probabilities suggest a relationship.Results indicated that narratives of parental influence on career development may be reflective of one's stage of identityformation, that is, to one's progress in exploring and committing to career values and goals. narratives, career development, parental influence, life, adolescence, narrative structure, narrative types, parents, ego identity, identity formation, goals, stories, Sankey, Exact Tests, interview, Moratorium, progressive narratives, retrospective accounts, psychology, identity formation process, representing, young adults, commitment, life story, identity statuses, Probabilities, EOMEIS, identity diffusion, illustrate, observational associations,

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Additional keywords for: Ego-identity status and narrative structure in retrospective accounts of parental career influence

journal adolescence 1996 19 141 153 ego identity status narrative structure retrospective accounts parental career influence andria m sankey richard young paper relationship identity status categories experience parental influence career development examined life stories 11 young adults regarding significant events parents influenced classified narrative structure based gergen gergen macrostructure framework resulting narrative types assessed terms relationship participant score extended objective measure ego identity status observational associations fisher exact tests probabilities suggest relationship results indicated narratives parental influence career development reflective stage identity formation progress exploring committing career values goals 1996 association professionals services adolescents introduction research addresses question differences experience parental influence career development reflective identity formation differences relevant literature drawn three distinct areas identity formation career development narrative methodology erikson 1956 1968 asserts identity formation involves synthesis past present identity developed evaluation past relationships significant organized conceptualization separate connected present developmental influences foster process impair conger 1973 leading erikson called identity diffusion theorists e g marcia 1966 erikson 1968 emphasized task indivuating parents important influence establishment mature ego identity marcia 1966 suggested identity formation requires amount rejection parental ideas expands erikson psychosocial stage identity vs role confusion asserting identity clearly expressed occupational ideological interpersonal commitments makes society four possible outcomes statuses identity formation process identity achieved moratorium foreclosure identity diffused based extent individuals experienced period exploration questioning parentally defined goals reprint requests correspondence addressed m sankey 1360 west 8th avenue vancouver b c v6h 4a6 canada research originally completed master arts thesis counselling psychology university british columbia first author supervised second author indebted dr norm amundsen professor judith lynam served supervisory committee maureen cannan scored questionnaires 0140 1971 96 02014113 18 00 0 1996 association professionals services adolescents 142 m sankey r young values commitment selection personal goals values occupational ideological interpersonal choices identity achieved individuals made selfdefined commitment period questioning searching classified moratorium currently engaged questioning period commit personal values goals foreclosed persons accepted parental values goals question exploration alternatives identity diffused individuals show sign commitment begun questioning searching process waterman 1988 points identity formation researchers basic agreement regarding construct identity domains individual life family salient identity formation process research supports hypothesis searching process questioning parental values goals theoretically contributes development secure personal identity e g josselson 1980 adams fitch 1983 campbell et al 1984 grotevant cooper 1988 adams et al 1989 recent findings suggest progression advanced identity status occurs searching process occurs context close relationships parents children grotevant cooper 1986 optimal adjustment late adolescence considered linked capacity balance subjective gains autonomy sense connection parents josselson 1980 campbell et al 1984 broadly defined career combination roles played person course lifetime super 1980 researchers practitioners long recognized role identity plays career development process career development theorists suggest degree individuals able establish coherent career goals linked progress forming crystallized identity super 1957 harren 1979 despite association little attention paid specifically identity status potential variable career development process referring study young et al 1994 narratives parental influence career development analysed waterman personal communication 25 1992 suggested individual narratives represent differences identity status words experience parental influence career development variable related progress identity formation notion influence implies connection past events present future events similarly erikson 1968 developmental theorists e g loevinger 1976 assert importance striving make sense past experience identity formation process parents traditionally thought important influence lives careers children e g grotevant cooper 1988 blustein et al 1991 attention paid influence constructed individuals different stages identity formation process incorporated narrative account lives approach study perceived parental influence involves narrative life story young et al 1994 approach based belief individuals attach meanings events lives constructing storied accounts constructs story life makes connections uses themes implies causality consequently individual life story unique mishler 1986 suggests connection narrative expression identity story form self presentation identity expressed 143 identity status narrative structure particulars account represents themes values said functions express validate claimed identity p 243 narrative method suited studying presentation self telling happened case storifying ways young adults construct domain parental influence explanation career development atkinson 1987 kohler riessman 1990 attanucci 1993 narrative method enables consider cultural context identity occurs slugoski ginsburg 1989 argue erikson theory ego identity represents culturally sanctioned ways talking oneself stage life western societies p 51 findings current investigation provide narrative perspective identity implicitly address dominant cultural values assumptions young adults researchers individuals share common identity status structure narratives experience parental influence similarly purposes study assess nature potential relationship identity status structure narratives parental influence career development young people illustrate identity statuses perspective narratives method sample sample participants college introductory psychology class large canadian city recruited study total 47 individuals 20 male 27 female 18 23 year olds completed extended objective measure ego identity status bennion adams 1986 sample group considered appropriate general purpose study required investigating age range individuals show variability stages identity formation sense influenced parents original 47 respondents 25 agreed participate subsequent interview dealing perceptions parental influence lives 1 based scores identity status measure 11 participants two male nine female contacted interview sample size 11 considered small respondents eligible participate agreed interview completed study instrumentation measurement ego identity status order assess individual progress resolving identity vs identity diffusion psychosocial task participants administered extended objective measure ego identity status eomeis 2 bennion adams 1986 eomeis 2 64 item self report measure based objective measure ego identity status omeis adams et al 1979 omeis revised version based marcia 1966 identity status theory 6 point likert response format respondents answer items ideological content areas occupation religion politics philosophical life style items 1 requests copy full interview schedule sent andria sankey 1360 west 8th avenue vancouver b c canada v6h 4a6 144 m sankey r young interpersonal content areas friendship dating sex roles recreational choices participants report presence absence crisis period commitment area eight content areas measured eight items two items identity status originally delineated marcia 1966 achievement moratorium foreclosure diffusion scores scales provide measure relative degree prevalence ego identity status interest current study obtain measure ego identity status due broad definition career ideological interpersonal subscales identity statuses combined validation studies suggest good strong internal consistency eomeis 2 college students ranging 0 62 0 89 ideological interpersonal subscales e g bennion adams 1986 measure shows evidence discriminant convergent validity e g bennion adams 1986 reported free social desirability response bias estimates predictive concurrent validity provided correlations identity subscales measures personality constructs self acceptance locus control intimacy rigidity authoritarianism associations theoretically consistent bennion adams 1986 adams et al 1989 assessment parental influence career development encourage development individual life story semi structured interview format participants invited tell lives career development important goals influence perceive parents lives careers encouraged elicit specific incidents felt parents influenced flanagan 1954 asked describe incident response felt incident participants asked judge felt incident helpful harmful career development lastly asked expected reach future life goals two examples 13 questions interview 1 begin tell little far life routes taken get 7 think specific examples events times life feel parents influenced tried influence approximately 2 months completion initial interviews participants received verification follow interview interview received printed summary interpretation stories asked summaries accurately represented experiences narrated previous interview wished make corrections additions stories corrections made personal narratives time prior analysis purpose follow interview establish individual participant felt understood experiences rendered true analysis procedure forty seven participants first administered eomeis 2 test forms scored trained student researcher procedures outlined manual 145 identity status narrative structure eomeis 2 rationale additional researcher scoring purposes focused minimizing possible interviewer bias stemming prior knowledge test scores identity status results primary investigator told contact interviews access test results completion analysis interviews individuals high scores four status categories identity achieved moratorium foreclosed identity diffused scoring standard deviations mean authors norms low scores three lower standard deviation mean called interview bennion adams 1986 label respondents pure types contrasting transition types score greater standard deviation mean two identity status categories low profile moratoriums score lower standard deviation mean identity status categories interviews lasted approximately 1 5 hours length follow interviews lasted approximately 30 minutes length purpose verification completed narratives analysis participants categorized four identity statuses basis scores eomeis 2 interview narratives transcribed narrator interviewer words study narratives conform rules gergen 1988 suggests constitute reasonable story narratives describe valued endpoint goal action story directed events selected ordered endpoint creating coherent narrative narrative plots converted story form linear form respect evaluative shifts time narrative structure based individual personally evaluated movement relation life goals expected resulting narrative structures resemble basic types suggested gergen gergen 1986 progressive narrative narrator describes incidents experienced facilitating movement career goals regressive narrative incidents perceived inhibiting movement career goals stable narrative incidents perceived facilitating inhibiting movement life goals coding narratives order categorize basis gergen gergen 1986 model based means end sequences outlined alexander 1988 specifically unit analysis critical incident introduction activity outcome incidents reduced sequence events outcome results events narrator affect participant feeling events outcome categories proposed alexander making possible determine direction coherence person narrative young et al 1994 narrative coding done first author trained prior study method structural analysis personal narratives researchers access identity status information order assess similarities differences narrative structure narratives individuals identity statuses two fisher exact tests assess relationship narrative types identity status categories 146 m sankey r young outlined procedure authors take naive approach data potentially influential factors noted author participation earlier research dealing parental influence career development influenced expected themes personal narratives assumption narrative types likely representative basic narrative types proposed gergen gergen 1986 made results results based interview test data obtained 11 participants identified pure types scale score results 47 participants completed eomeis 2 frequencies classified respondents four identity status categories breakdown gender participant reported table 1 regard 11 pure types interviewed six females identified identity achieved two females male moratorium male female identity diffuse means standard deviations sample identity status scales achievement moratorium foreclosure diffusion reported table 1 compare closely reported adams et al 1989 three narrative types identified based analysis 11 transcribed interviews represented variants gergen gergen 1986 rudimentary narrative types progressive type meaning participants recounted critical incidents parents seen instrumental participants movement career goals 11 narratives represented regressive stable narrative types gergen gergen 1986 resulting narrative types representative three progressive narrative types proposed young et al 1994 analysis narratives perceived parental influence narrative structures identified study follows 1 progressive narrative negatively evaluated stages 2 progressive narrative dramatic turning point 3 progressive narrative positive evaluation frame 11 interviews eight classified type 1 narratives type 2 narrative two type 3 narratives noted regressive narrative types discovered young et al 1994 anticipated regressive narrative sad narrative evident narratives gathered study complete description narrative structures see young et al 1994 distribution participants based eomeis 2 scores narrative structures provided table 2 table 1 distribution identity status scores eomeis 2 classification males females mean d identity achieved 3 7 67 6 7 3 moratorium 2 3 54 1 8 3 foreclosed 0 1 41 3 9 2 identity diffused 4 4 44 7 8 7 low profile moratorium 11 6 transitional status 0 6 totals 20 27 147 identity status narrative structure due low cell frequencies original 33 table two fisher exact tests probabilities first combined groups basis exploration achievement moratorium vs diffusion second combined groups basis commitment achievement vs moratorium diffusion probabilities associated exploration commitment 0 054 0 061 respectively approaching significance five cent level illustration relationship identity status narrative structure distinct themes narratives perceived parental influence career development illustrate relationship identity status narratives participants classified identity achieved moratorium statuses tended share narrative structure life stories individual realizes valued career life outcome despite parental influence relationships parents described currently previously struggle transmission parental values experienced young person restricting trusting ability manage life consequently parental values expectations discarded despite similarities narratives representing two identity statuses distinguished six participants classified identity achieved universally spoke struggles conflicts parents occurring past relationships parents remained strained present participants spoke come accept value differences parent question young woman described accepted parental values time rebelled despite distant unsupportive relationship mother adolescence suggested grown accept mother positive negative qualities stated pretty strained lot huge fights i ve accept unemotional know like identity achieved participants indicated overcome struggle parental influence achieving goals mom hasn t supportive i know i reach goals i t imagine doing addition commitment career goals confidence career goals eventually reached identity achieved participants described sense personal responsibility success woman asserted i m pretty confident i ve three five years planning works narratives identity achieved participants clear awareness personal values goals process personal goals reached detailed woman explained table 2 identity status narrative structure progressive narrative structure identity status achieved moratorium foreclosed diffused negatively evaluated stages 6 2 dramatic turning point 1 positive evaluation frame 2 total 6 3 0 2 148 m sankey r young go school teacher get married kids i good relationships people job i m happy dead end job teaching give narratives encouragement support autonomous decision making parents experienced fundamental pursuit career goals illustrated statements support felt good cause i m confident feel i know good good told support i decide go school i think helped get i am today progressive narratives negatively evaluated stages provided participants classified moratorium suggested recently begun process separating parental influences recognized growing individuality process complete words struggle parents completely overcome acceptance value differences indicated narratives identity achieved participants reached young man explained mom wants finish school soon possible i m like i don t know i m doing i don t know i rushing getting job i don t i blew day told i d move house wanted like moratorium participants young man begun clarify personal values goals goals remained vague uncertain expressed confidence eventually clarified stated i m trying figure rest life means similarly young woman classified moratorium status narrative structure identified progressive dramatic turning point described recent attempts break free parental influence life story described turning point able change outcome life story failure success despite described abusive inconsistent parenting lifetime beginning reconceptualize life hopeful begun vague career goals please mother stated i feel i look forward matter figuring right narrative structure two identity diffuse participants illustrates distinct themes stories progression life goals achieved accommodation young person parental influence explicit lack rebellion struggle narratives parents values life seen appropriate idealized young woman described influence mother parenting i ve pretty gone wanted i haven t rebelled life i ve good child relationships parents described positive supportive experiences parents evaluated similarly positive supportive narratives narrative types struggle conflicts parents identified described identity diffuse participants spoke identified career goals early life question indicating commitment career goals differ narrative types relative absence questioning early commitment parentally defined values goals identity diffuse young woman stated i ve 149 identity status narrative structure known i wanted life support family i m confident i ll get discussion identity status classifications narrative structures focus investigation fixed static individuals participant moves life clarifying modifying personal values goals progression regression particular identity status likely different interpretations parental influence plays individual current life story emerge time personal narratives stand narrator significant interpretations parental influence specific point lives interpretations parental influence discussed general sense recognize distinguishing mother influence father influence considering potential relationship gender participant add dimension narratives study e g adams et al 1979 cooper et al 1984 collins russel 1991 three narrative types identified study provide understanding role parental influence lives careers young people represent variations gergen gergen 1986 progressive narrative type participants identify moving career goals clearly resemble three five structures narratives parental influence identified young et al 1994 progressive narrative types found investigation explained fact participants committed program study time interview involved process moving career goals goals vague participants identified potential goals goals currently trying noted progression goals necessarily represent young person positive evaluation parent role lives study progression constructed struggle parental influence cases extension parental influence statistical structural analyses suggest young adults varying stages identity formation tell stories parental influence differently narratives parental influence career development represent statements identity narratives identity achieved moratorium participants describe struggles parental influence points individual life easily termed crisis points exploratory nature struggles crises identified participants involving rebellion parental expectations rejection parental values goals words parental values goals considered rejected participant incorporated sense self finding identity achieved participants emphasized need support encouragement parents pursuit life goals supportive research suggesting connectedness parents enhances identity development grotevant cooper 1986 participants identified identity achieved discussed reached point lives accepting past parental lack support reference parent suggest identity formation 150 m sankey r young lead re establishment feelings closeness parents weinmann newcombe 1990 identity achieved participants clear purpose personally desired life outcome evident play course lives choosing options presented moratorium participants discovery personally desired life outcome weighing alternatives current incomplete process finding lends support previous research suggesting strong relationship exploratory activity achieved moratorium statuses e g blustein et al 1989 consistent research suggesting identity achieved individuals exploratory activity occurred past moratorium currently experiencing struggle crisis e g waterman 1985 results investigation support notion young person search alternatives e g questioning parental views theoretically leads psychosocially advanced identity statuses campbell et al 1984 cooper et al 1984 adams et al 1989 suggestion families highly cohesive discourage exploration inhibiting identity development brown adams 1985 illustrated study narratives identity diffuse participants levels commitment career goals indicated narratives identity achieved moratorium youth consistent marcia 1966 definitions identity statuses finding identity diffuse participants exhibited lack information gathering activities decision making supports finding blustein phillips 1990 consistent marcia theory findings suggest progressive narrative negatively evaluated stages progressive narrative dramatic turning point stories representative identity achieved moratorium statuses consistent theory progressive narrative positive evaluation frame life story told identity diffuse youth represents unexpected finding likely stories typical told individuals identity foreclosure definition identity diffusion involves lack commitment career goals identity diffuse participants study indicated strong commitment career goals discrepancy explained possibility raised archer 1989b cited vondracek 1992 different people different domains identity development salience point time individual advanced quest identity achievement domain alternatively finding viewed light possibility pure diffusion status types observed healthy adolescent population adams et al 1989 finding supportive theory research associating identity diffusion lack commitment career goals merits investigation study detailed analysis done illustrate experience parental influence potential associations identity status narrative approach necessitated small sample size sample size 11 parameters doing qualitative research limits recognized association identity status narrative illustrated study supports slugoski ginsburg 1989 observation identity represents culturally sanctioned talking oneself late 20th century middle class college students opportunity construct narratives reflective achieved moratorium diffused identity embedded career concerns said adolescents 151 identity status narrative structure current sample variety gender cultural background small number participants precluded making comparisons areas finding six identity achieved participants female merits consideration possible differences nature individuation late adolescent males females narrative approach study offers practitioners insight serve help clients develop stories lives stories adolescents invest career meaning identifying themes tensions story line establishing relationship person past experiences engagements resulting narratives serve represent understanding self relation specifically career parenting life narrative approach useful working appear counselling asking am i i living explore possibilities developing sense purpose identity white epston 1990 pointed persons gain reflective perspective lives new options available challenging truths experience defining specifying relationships p 30 additional research addressing link identity status career development needed dealing specifically variables studied likely larger sample current investigation strength relationship identity status narratives parental influence career development apparent future research bring light gender culture differences regard identity status experiences parental influence career development longitudinal research useful capture dynamic nature identity status classifications 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