ERIC Number: ED210611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Career and Personal Identity Synthesis in Professional Men and Women.
O'Connell, Agnes N.
Since Erikson first explained identity synthesis for women as a single unitary pattern, identity synthesis for women leading different life styles has been shown to form separate and distinct patterns. These findings suggest that men's identity synthesis may also be more complex than a unitary process. Similarities and differences in identity synthesis between men and women with different life styles were explored. Professional men and women (N=53) completed the Sense of Identity Inventory which measured strength of identity for personal and career stages. Subjects also completed the Satisfaction Scale and, by their responses, were categorized as career- or family-oriented. Strength of identity scores indicated that women's identity was weaker than men's in earlier, but not later, career stages. The first married stage brought the greatest increment in strength of identity for males; for females, the first child stage had the same effect. Identity for career males increased in strength only at first promotion and first married stages. Strength of identity for family males and career and family females increased in progressive life cycle stages. Career males' identity focus was always personal. Identity focus for all other groups was a balance of personal and reflected dimensions. The findings suggest that identity synthesis is related to primary sources of satisfaction and to the concomitant life style as well as to gender. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Identity Synthesis; Satisfaction
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).