ERIC Number: ED335613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Process View of Identity Formation and Maintenance.
Berzonsky, Michael D.
Individuals can be divided into three types of processing orientations: information-oriented; avoidant/diffuse orientation; and normative. These orientations are assumed to operate on at least three different levels: what people actually do; social-cognitive strategies; and identity style. Differences in identity style may be due mainly to motivational factors. One approach to investigating processing orientations has involved constructing a self-report measure of identity style. It was developed by separating the commitment and self-exploration components that would be contained in statements about identity status. Two studies examined the role that processing orientations may play in the construction and reconstruction of self-identity. The first investigation utilized a large-scale sample of 148 college student "pure" status types: achievers, moratoriums, diffusions, and foreclosures. As predicted, identity foreclosures had the highest normative scores, diffusions were highest on the avoidant/diffuse dimension, and achievers had the highest information-oriented scores. The second study focused on how some individuals rigidly manage to maintain and conserve their self-structures despite encountering experiences and stressors that should induce the need to reevaluate and perhaps accommodate their self-views. College students (N=171) completed identity style scales, a coping checklist, and measures of achievement anxiety. The results revealed that both avoidant/diffuse and normative subjects reported being significantly more likely to rely on emotion-focused coping than did subjects with an information style. In conclusion, these results support the utility of a process conceptualization of identity. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Identity Formation; Identity Models; Identity Status
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).