Summary / Abstract
Title: Self-concept and questions of life: identity development during late adolescence
Synopsis: The purpose of the present study was to explore identity development in late adolescent (18-20)years. Three areas were examined: (a) self-concept, (b) existential questions; content and communication patterns, and (c),connections between (a) and (b). The population consisted of 44 Swedish college students. Three methods were used: a questionnaire,the writing of a short essay and a self-evaluation test, Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). The results demonstrated apositive and stable self-concept for the majority of the group, and that questions of life mainly concerned questions of future.The quality of the self-concept (positive
. negative) was significantly related to how subjects experienced adults'interest in their existential questions. Several issues are discussed: the importance of the social environment for identitydevelopment not only during early childhood but also during adolescence, the use of the SASB method in this age group and the needfor placing processes of integration into focus in research concerning late adolescence.
Title: Self-concept and questions of life: identity development during late adolescence
Synopsis: The purpose of the present study was to explore identity development in late adolescent (18-20)years. Three areas were examined: (a) self-concept, (b) existential questions; content and communication patterns, and (c),connections between (a) and (b). The population consisted of 44 Swedish college students. Three methods were used: a questionnaire,the writing of a short essay and a self-evaluation test, Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). The results demonstrated apositive and stable self-concept for the majority of the group, and that questions of life mainly concerned questions of future.The quality of the self-concept (positive vs . negative) was significantly related to how subjects experienced adults'interest in their existential questions. Several issues are discussed: the importance of the social environment for identitydevelopment not only during early childhood but also during adolescence, the use of the SASB method in this age group and the needfor placing processes of integration into focus in research concerning late adolescence.
Related links for: Self-concept and questions of life: identity development during late adolescence
Additional keywords for: Self-concept and questions of life: identity development during late adolescence
journal adolescence 1996 19 569 582 self concept questions life identity development late adolescence lena adamson bjo ¨ rn lyxell purpose present study explore identity development late adolescent 18 20 years three areas examined self concept b existential questions content communication patterns c connections b population consisted 44 swedish college students three methods questionnaire writing short essay selfevaluation test structural analysis social behavior sasb results demonstrated positive stable self concept majority group questions life mainly concerned questions future quality self concept positive vs negative significantly related subjects experienced adults interest existential questions issues discussed importance social environment identity development early childhood adolescence sasb method age group need placing processes integration focus research concerning late adolescence 1996 association professionals services adolescents introduction identity elusive indispensible concept developmental issues adolescent stage discussed identity formation regarded process linking internal images feelings individual possesses gradually united perceived functioning differ times places experienced coherent stable internal core identity reached level maturity linking process merely intrapsychic identity described relationship core context intrinsically related development bosma et al 1994 seek links key developmental features adolescent stage point interest article purpose present study two fold first study characteristics self concept late adolescence second explore describe domain existential questions thoughts arise individual developmental period terms existential questions questions life theories life interchangeably article approach psychodynamic emphasizes interactional aspect identity formation theoretical proposals erikson 1968 kroger 1989 bosma et al 1994 five central concepts discussed placed context present study identity formation identity self concept introject existential questions reprint requests correspondence addressed dr b lyxell department education psychology linko¨ping university 581 83 linko¨ping sweden 0140 1971 96 06056914 25 00 0 1996 association professionals services adolescents 570 l adamson b lyxell addition theoretical identity model ramstro¨m 1991 described theoretical basis personality inventory structural analysis social behavior sasb benjamin 1974 study identity formation adolescence differs identity formation previous developmental periods mainly adolescent experiencing growing awareness identity ability closely linked capacity metathinking reality possibility differentiated flavell 1977 adolescent able reflect identity infinite number possible identities pictures disregarded consolidated gradually form identity described rangell bosma et al 1994 p 27 person sense self conceptualization self evaluation characteristic behavior identity qualitative aspect feeling tied concept erikson 1956 two aspects concept identity personal identity ego identity first refers sense self sameness continuity time coupled perception recognize sameness continuity second related developing defined ego social reality erikson 1959 p 22 lichenstein 1977 makes distinction two related dimensions identity separatedness relatedness healthy identity par ability keep balance two pools total loss identity i e return symbiotic stage total isolation ramstro¨m 1991 elaborates ideas makes distinction aspects individuation integration first refers individual questions separated people person different times different places cf erikson 1959 personal identity latter divided two aspects social existential inner questions concern social functions roles ways relating ways relating social cultural value systems beliefs cf erikson 1959 ego identity ideological interpersonal domains connected marcia 1966 identity status paradigm identity model implies dimension time questions individuation emphasized early development questions integration stages developing identity first involves process separation result individual able see unique person consistent time space constitutes necessary condition integration adult world recent identity research emanating marcia 1966 identity status paradigm focuses exploratory nature identity formation grotevant cooper 1986 applied ramstro¨m identity model exploration commitments found aspects gradually conscious frequent individual moves theme individuation theme integration important stress model imply strictly sequential relation two themes relation individuation integration described interactional two aspects time dominant makes comparisons identity status paradigm unsuitable conclusion specific aim present study examine existential integrational aspect identity model described field closely related erikson 1968 labels ideological questions identity formation seen continuous interplay psychological 571 self concept interior individual socio cultural context erikson 1959 grotevant cooper 1986 content quality identity psychoanalytical psychodynamic theory blos 1962 erikson 1959 mahler 1975 origins dialogue mother child first seed identity starts grow outcome large extent dependent quality dialogue mahler 1975 mother ability mirror confirm child child ability perceive respond constitute root identity identity described outcome introjected relations significant benjamin 1974 theoretical basis personality inventory structural analysis social behavior sasb benjamin 1974 study interpersonal theory benjamin 1974 henry et al 1990 mainly uses two terms related identity self concept introject introject operationalization connection sasb inventory defined hypothesized personality structure comprises relatively stable conscious unconscious repertoire ways treating self henry et al 1990 p 769 treatment repertoire theory mirroring treatment received early significant described terms self love inner control interpersonal theory benjamin 1974 early experience critical formation content selfconcept assumed subjected development change lifespan henry et al 1990 opinion shared instance grotevant 1986 sasb model employs two dimensions affiliation disaffiliation independence interdependence applicable adolescent stage questions autonomy control oneself life central issues two dimensions applied introject individual interpersonal behaviour patterns closely linked introjective actions states major correlates affective experience important shaping interpersonal behavior henry et al 1990 p 769 present study sasb inventory limited introject interpersonal behaviour studied means questionnaire reason focus study directed subjects communication patterns specific issues social environment quality relation specific person conclusion terms self concept introject interpersonal theory linked terms identity identity formation sense described identity theoretical discussion self concept relation empirical findings introject direct relation sasb inventory existential questions concept like identity hard define things considered important person significance irrelevant variations large extent individual group variations respect age occur second aim present study examine considered principal elements existential questions late adolescence addition patterns communication examined adolescent discuss issues oneself terms existential context considered last building blocks adult identity essential factor presence adult people able convey ideological messages adolescent willing act partners dialogue concerns issues process dependent social environment adolescent results 572 l adamson b lyxell previous study adamson 1993 revealed contacts adults parents older siblings scarce adolescents explicitly expressed wish increased contacts adults adolescents expressed dissatisfaction swedish school system treated topics existential nature existential anxiety feelings loneliness respect questions theories life common see swedish national board education 1969 1981 kerberg 1987 addition indications relationship quality self concept vs possibility verbalize process questions theories life interaction found third final purpose study examine indications sum present article focus topics self concept late adolescence terms positive negative affiliation disaffiliation independence interdependence b existential questions content patterns communication c possible connections b method subjects fifty three college students small town college south sweden asked participate study obtain representative distribution respect socioeconomic factors subjects evenly drawn classes aiming education fe vocational classes v subjects participated study two separate occasions response rate first occasion 92 5 second 90 7 left 44 subjects 19 females 25 males participated study subjects mean age 18 5 d 0 59 average school grade 3 2 d 0 50 scale 1 5 5 represents top grade materials structural analysis social behavior sasb sasb method evaluating individual internalized self concept i e introject interpersonal behaviour benjamin 1974 model consists three interrelated circumplex surfaces twodimensional space affiliation disaffiliation independence interdependence surface defines particular perspective focus interpersonal transactions surface 1 focus person surface 2 involves focus self third surface focuses introject outcome intrapsychic actions focus surface 1 directed inward self present study questionnaire corresponds surface 3 questionnaire comprises 36 items self ratings made 0 100 scale degree individual judges item descriptive behaviour figure 1 presents simplified version sasb model 36 items collapsed eight clusters detailed description sasb system reader consult benjamin 1974 armelius et al 1983 armelius stiwne 1986 swedish version present study ratings scored means computer programme result subject presented eight cluster values figure 1 four coefficients coefficient represents central tendency summarizes introjective stance individual first coefficient termed attack coefficient expresses respondent 573 self concept 1 8 daydreaming neglecting self 7 self rejecting destroying 6 self indicting oppressing 5 self monitoring restraining 4 self protecting enhancing 3 self nourishing cherishing 2 self accepting exploring 1 spontaneous self 8 2 3 7 6 4 5 figure 1 sasb system cluster version introject rating horizontal axis affiliation disaffiliation interpreted self love vs selfhate applied introject second coefficient control coefficient expresses central tendency ratings vertical axis dimension independence interdependence interpreted spontaneity vs self control focus introject conflict coefficient expresses inner conflicts shows high ratings sides two dimensions consistency coefficient expresses ratings consistent introject stable interpretation coefficients summarized table 1 values expressed range 1 00 1 00 scored follows values 0 71 described high 0 71 0 40 relatively high values interval 0 40 0 20 tendency test retest reliability american version sasb r 0 87 adults benjamin 1984 regarding construct validity factor analysis shows 75 total variance cluster ratings explained three factors applies american version swedish translation armelius o ¨ hman 1990 results refer adults present study two mean values computed six eight cluster values positive self concepts clusters sasb pscc negative self concept clusters sasb nscc first obtained scores clusters table 1 interpretations four sasb coefficients focus introject coefficient positive coefficient negative coefficient attack self hate self love control self control spontaneity conflict self control spontaneity self love self hate consistency stable ratings zero negative introject diffuse chaotic 574 l adamson b lyxell 2 3 4 see figure 1 high scores express positive self concept second contains scores clusters 6 7 8 see figure 1 high scores express negative self concept clusters 1 5 solely measure independence interdependence dimension consider meaningful value positive negative context essay subjects asked write short essay topic labelled questions life purpose collect explorative information questionnaire essays analysed order questions general recognized important questions life simply done reading essays listing new issue mentioned total number 167 issues found sorted eight categories thoughts death future life god global issues e g war environmental topics pollution relational issues e g boy girlfriends parents category miscellaneous items questionnaire purpose questionnaire explore eight different areas adult contacts b ways relating future c aims life d existential questions e suicide f religious ideological beliefs g self concept h communication concerning existential topics questionnaire consisted 46 items answers scored nominal scales interval scales mean values standard deviations correlation coefficients presented article computed questions scored interval scales values ranging 1 5 25 questions coding procedure alternative answers questions presented table 2 help reader three questions q16 26 41 formulated statements e g q16 i feel day i able realize future plans 5 represents fully agree q15 18 22 29 42 43 44 45 give high scores answers meaning lot i e q15 looking forward lot q16 high ability fifteen questions create four clusters cluster 1 q6 8 2 q9 11 concerned relations mother father respectively high values representing good relationship cluster 3 containing q13 17 20 28 starting think centres existential questions time subjects spend thinking issues cluster 4 containing q31 33 35 37 39 starting talk somebody explores subjects communicate existential questions clusters 5 represents answer q30 three self concept variables formulated feel satisfied ease 5 represents high satisfaction procedure groups v fe asked participate brief information purpose study youth existential questions study carried two separate occasions first subjects asked write essay fill sasb form subjects informed title essay preceding day instructed reflect topic day subjects instructions 10 minutes allowed 70 minutes 575 self concept writing allowed leave classroom 65 minutes earliest second occasion place 1 month subjects asked fill questionnaire 50 minutes task completion subjects instructed talk test sessions results discussion results presented discussed three first data concerning self concept second existential questions self concept vs patterns communication existential thoughts values refer total group 44 stated analysis sex differences three self concept measures four sasb coefficients performed means anova significant differences obtained self concept majority group expressed positive self concept applies results sasb personality inventory attack coefficient m 0 69 d 0 35 questionnaire subjects asked extent felt satisfied ease q30 m 3 8 d 0 83 sasb consistency coefficient 75 showed values higher 0 71 m 0 73 d 0 40 indicating three quarters group expressed stable self concept selfcontrol hand low compared group swedish university students m age 25 years sasb control coefficient m 0 32 vs m 0 51 armelius stiwne 1986 sasb conflict coefficient revealed inner conflicts frequent dimension independence interdependence 75 0 20 29 0 40 dimension affiliation disaffiliation 10 0 20 0 0 40 results two coefficients interpreted indication age related factors first self control variable stronger increasing age second question independence interdependence current issue developmental stage conflict burdened area opposed question self love self hate determined earlier stage group 10 subjects demonstrated significantly unstable self concept sasb consistency coefficient m 0 05 d 0 21 compared rest group m 0 93 d 0 09 t 42 19 38 p 0 001 reason examined result proved group significantly lower mean value sasb attack coefficient m 0 23 d 0 48 rest group m 0 83 d 0 12 t 42 6 8 p 0 001 indicating low level self love confirmed answers questionnaire majority ten expressed dissatisfaction q30 m 2 9 d 0 88 high values sasb nscc m 39 07 d 6 28 compared score rest subjects m 20 83 d 10 51 t 42 5 19 p 0 0001 finding group subjects 7 stated attempted commit suicide addition significantly mentally occupied thought suicide q22 m 1 45 d 0 71 rest subjects m 2 2 d 1 03 t 41 2 6 p 0 01 unstable self concept 576 l adamson b lyxell developmental stage indicate factors negative nature field special attention table 2 presents correlations self concept sasb terms pscc nscc scores q30 significantly intercorrelated see table 3 observed measures four groups variables questionnaire parental relationships outlook self life existential issues thoughts suicide three measurements self concept displayed patterns exception sasb pscc exhibited slight tendency irregularity first area table 2 parental relationships shows relationships mother father correlate significantly self concept second area outlook table 2 correlations self concept vs parental relationships outlook self life existential issues suicide questionnaire self concept q30 sasb pscc sasb nscc r r r parental relationships c1 quality relationship mother 0 477 0 239 0 504 c2 quality relationship father 0 383 0 231 0 444 outlook self life q16 ability realize future plans 0 561 0 325 0 331 q18 man ability influence life general 0 551 0 412 0 440 q26 belonging life context 0 471 0 013 0 247 q29 feelings similarity people 0 298 0 113 0 262 q15 looking forward entering adult world 0 349 0 263 0 284 existential issues c3 amount existential thoughts 0 370 0 224 0 465 c4 amount communication existential thoughts 0 316 0 120 0 011 q41 experienced loneliness existential thoughts 0 474 0 081 0 418 q45 experienced interest adults existential issues 0 401 0 377 0 355 q42 existential issues school work 0 284 0 291 0 111 suicide q22 suicidal thoughts 0 420 0 153 0 515 p 0 05 p 0 01 p 0 001 table 3 correlations three self concept measures q30 sasb pscc sasb nscc q30 sasb pscc sasb nscc q30 1 0 435 0 707 sasb pscc 0 435 1 0 499 sasb nscc 0 707 0 499 1 p 0 05 p 0 01 p 0 001 577 self concept self life positive self concept significantly correlated belief able realize future plans human beings form lives simple victims fate positive self concept related sense looking forward entering adult world opposed negative self concept connected anxiety regarding future feeling adults fully accept young people entry adult world feeling belonged life context significantly correlated positive self concept sum positive self concept gives impression connected people life general simultaneously sense autonomy exists belief resources abilities words positive self concept displays balance self kroger 1989 opposed negative selfconcept disconnectedness lack control anxiety future prominent characteristics existential questions second area study examined domain existential questions results presented three first adolescents refer important existential issues think i e content second talk somebody things i e patterns communication results questions concerning suicide presented content results essay questionnaire revealed questions life mainly questions future q13 m 4 0 d 0 70 reflections meaning life general level common topic q17 m 3 0 d 0 88 death question am i displayed lower ratings q20 m 2 8 d 0 82 q28 m 2 2 d 1 0 respectively fact last question am i frequently asked interpreted supporting theories state ambivalent self concept high adolescence point melted integrated functioning blos 1962 present need appears relate integration oneself context trying images oneself trying images oneself future questionnaire questions religious beliefs theories life third total number subjects stated believe god kind divine higher existence subjects asked belonged specific religious church organisation 20 stated half subjects stated felt belonging life context three groups believe god kind divine higher existence b believe god kind divine higher existence c know tested anova result group felt belonging life context m 3 75 m b 2 82 m c 3 29 f 44 4 16 p 0 0226 variable correlated ratings positive self concept r 0 471 p 0 001 belief necessarily specific religion connected positive self concept fact group subjects stated felt 34 great 7 need finding believe showed negative self concept supports interpretation results support idea formation personal belief seen promoting 578 l adamson b lyxell factor process developing identity essential adolescence erikson 1959 group b revealed significantly lower level self control m 0 52 m b 0 08 m c 0 28 f 42 3 74 p 0 0323 experienced inner conflict regarding two dimensions sasb two groups m 0 33 m b 0 06 m c 0 32 f 42 3 73 p 0 0326 individuals close cluster sasb model figure 1 spontaneous self groups c inner conflict earlier proved mainly concern dimension spontaneity self control age group lack conflict combination low inner control indication immature identity view nonbelieving group consist individuals earlier developmental stage two groups patterns communication seen table 4 questions future frequent topic discussed figures verify results preceding section questions life questions future developmental stage addition order topics cluster 4 cluster 3 cluster religious beliefs theories life mean values higher cluster 3 cluster 4 i e subjects spend time thinking talking existential issues two things worth noticing concerning choice discussion partner first five topics readily discussed mates parents mainly chosen topics concern future meaning life general second figures alternative adult remarkably low evokes question choice matter availability pertinent ask examining questions 42 45 q43 revealed subjects general wanted time existential topics school m 3 4 d 0 84 necessarily home q44 m 3 0 d 0 68 q42 showed swedish school help subjects existential questions m 2 3 d 0 83 adults interest young people existential questions perceived low q45 m 2 9 d 1 1 suicide question thought trying commit suicide subjects answered 5 9 happens 30 happened 56 answered 44 table 4 communication existential topics cluster 4 talk talk somebody discussion partner topic m d parent mate adult talk q31 future 3 2 0 93 44 47 9 0 q33 meaning life general 2 1 0 91 38 30 5 27 q35 death 2 0 0 127 16 45 5 34 q37 religious beliefs theories life 1 9 0 91 16 41 5 38 q39 person 1 8 0 86 11 32 9 48 579 self concept answered thoughts committing suicide drawing conclusion suffering high anxiety deep depressions plausible considering positive self concept expressed majority group conclusion rejected due results correlation studies see table 2 connection self concept measured q30 sasb nscc hand scores frequent thoughts committing suicide fact revealed sasb pscc follow pattern self concept characterised self accepting exploring self nourishing cherishing selfprotecting enhancing automatically generate low scores touched idea suicide possible explanation high ratings suicide problem solving strategy frequently age group reflection black white functioning gradually disregarded new mature ways dealing problems crises life found second question concerning topic suicide showed 93 tried commit suicide 7 tried previously mentioned subjects tried commit suicide exhibited unstable self concept self concept vs communication existential thoughts third last area study intended explore assumption quality self concept possibility verbalize questions theories life interaction related ratings self concept measured sasb q30 respectively showed slightly different patterns table 2 positive self concept terms high ratings q30 significantly related higher amount communication negative selfconcept r 0 316 p 0 01 results support hypotheses line previous findings adamson 1993 case scores sasb pscc r 0 120 n sasb nscc r 0 011 n three self concept measures significantly related experienced interest adults positive self concept strongly connected subjects believing adults genuinely interested existential questions indirect line self concept wishes opportunities communication existed subjects stated felt lonely facing existential thoughts questions significantly related negative self concept see table 2 seldom expressed wish opportunities talk things subjects frequently stated adults interested sharing thoughts topics subjects hand feel lonely facing existential thoughts questions significantly related positive self concept see table 2 expressed wanted time issues adults expressed strong belief adults interested sharing thoughts possible interpretation findings first group disinterest verbalizing thoughts sign resignation caused experience interested anyway indicates adults interest response adolescent existential questions important factor identity development support assumption group scored low sasb coefficient consistency mentioned previously group eight ten subjects stated talk existential questions seven stated think adults interested questions 580 l adamson b lyxell conclusions purpose present study examine quality self concept late adolescence existential questions developmental stage possible interaction quality self concept individuals handled existential questions conclusions related points comments sasb method previously described identity model results study demonstrate majority subjects exhibited positive stable self concept related number positive factors indicating balanced state autonomy relatedness murphey et al 1963 ten subjects displayed significantly unstable self concept closely linked negative features low self love lack belief adults interest young people existential questions suicide attempts mental preoccupation thoughts suicide thought suicide frequent exhibited positive selfconcept closer investigation groups unstable self concepts terms sasb provide additional information distinguishing adolescents actually run risk carrying suicidal plans results interesting methodological aspect sasb method previously mainly clinical settings adults groups size age two dimensions method based affiliation disaffiliation independence interdependence meaningful age group apart results concerning coefficient consistency coefficients conflict control generated interesting findings relation field ideological commitments addition conceptual framework sasb compatible psychodynamic theories fits eriksonian paradigm embryo individuation integration model ramstro¨m 1991 found erikson 1956 division personal identity ego identity distinction individuation separation integration introduces dimension time integrational issues related adolescent stage confirmed present study questions life clearly questions future majority subjects issue integrating individuated identity adult world far common dealings issues separation definitions oneself respect continuity space time model useful two aspects first division identity concept two main aspects brings clarity fact adolescence long developmental period involving fundamentally different processes different times second focusing separation vs integration process status emphasized empirical research identity formation late adolescence rooted eriksonian tradition focus social existential i e integrational aspects done descriptive quality self concept defined instance marcia identity status paradigm marcia 1966 application processoriented model facilitate investigation factors outside individual promoting obstructing identity formation processes integration seen main issue late adolescence field need exploration study two circumstances provide evidence relevance interactional process oriented model identity formation fact original 581 self concept assumption relationship self concept communication patterns concerning existential issues adamson 1993 received support b fact connection self concept belief disbelief adults interest willingness participate dialogue adolescent existential questions thoughts discovered grotevant cooper 1986 proposes exploration context connectedness promoting factor identity development adolescence discussion refers interactions relational experience family results studies entrance research adolescent adult interactions adolescent parent making possible analysis good parent good environment blos 1979 suggested article social environment adolescent adult interactions mainly discussed relation school existential issues treated college level results revealed adolescents time attention existential topics receive swedish school system highly insufficient adults general experienced uninterested young people existential thoughts imbalance intellectual cognitive development development concerning personal emotional issues exists facts highlighted educational curriculum discussions propose three ways necessary improving conditions first increased level teachers knowledge developmental psychological issues yield increased awareness respect role educational system relation identity formation developmental stage second improvements respect teacher possibilities personal development increase 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