A narrative investigation of adolescent identity development and psycho-social outcomes

Ehle, David L.
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University of Guelph

The narrative investigation of adolescent identity development may be seen as an investigation of self and world constructions through the use of self-narrative materials. Employing Marcia's (1966) identity status paradigm, the current study investigated the relationship between identity, loneliness, depression, happiness and self-narrative material resulting from the administration of a subset of the Thematic Apperception Test in a sample of late adolescence women. Self-narrative material was examined for two structural features, plot and audience, and three thematic features, affiliation motive, intimacy motive, and affiliative mistrust. Diffusion status participants reported higher levels of loneliness, while foreclosure scores were related to higher levels of intimacy motive and the use of a progressive plot line. Lower levels of depression was associated with the combination of achievement and moratorium. There were no significant results for happiness, affiliation motive, affiliative mistrust, or audience.

identity, loneliness, depression, happiness, self-narrative material, adolescent identity development, Thematic Apperception Test, late adolescence women