ERIC Number: ED228578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Nature of Self-Structure and Adaptability between Early and Late Adulthood.
Jolley, Janina M.
Relatively little research exists on the relationship between adaptability and the structural aspects of self. The research that does exist suggests that a more mature personality, i.e., a self that is differentiated and integrated, has a greater capacity to adapt to crises. To identify the empirical relationship between three structural dimensions of self (unity, centrality, and differentiation) and adaptability, and to examine how these three structural dimensions change as a function of age, young (aged 21-34, N=17); middle aged (35-64, N=16); and older (65-82, N=16) adults completed self-descriptions on index cards. Zajonc's method for assessing cognitive constructs was used to determine the three structural dimensions of self. An embedded figures test was used to measure susceptibility to learned helplessness. Data analyses indicated that unity of self decreases as a function of age and that susceptibility to learned helplessness increases with age. The findings suggest that a strong negative correlation exists between unity of self and susceptibility to learned helplessness and that neither differentiation nor centrality of self varies significantly as a function of age. (PAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (35th, Boston, MA, November l9-23, l982).