The Relationship Between Identity Statuses, Perceptions of Parents, Self-Perceptions, and Social Desirability In Late Adolescents

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Patricia J. Faulkender

Advisor Department



This study investigates identity development in late adolescents (18 to 21 years of age). The study looked at how persons with different identity statuses perceived themselves, perceived their parents, and presented themselves in regard to social desirability. An investigation into sex differences among the five part crises of the Indentity Status Interview--Revised was performed. The participants in the study were 80 undergraduate students from psychology and health education classes. There were 39 males and 41 females. On the social desirability variable, Foreclosures were found to score higher than Moratoriums; but in regard to ordinal relationship among the identity statuses, the Identity Achieved scored the highest. In regard to the self perception variables, the Moratoriums scored higher than the Foreclosures in terms of their self-evaluation of how often they experienced the emotions of anger and depression. The Moratoriums were also found to rate themselves more critically than the Identity Achieved in regard to various negative characteristics. The identity statuses were compared also in regard to perceptions of parents. When asked to rate their mothers on eight positive characteristics, the Moratoriums rated their mothers lower than the other three statuses. In rating their fathers, the Foreclosures rated their fathers higher than the Identity Achieved. When the identity statuses were compared on how often they perceived themselves being criticized by their parents, the Moratoriums perceived their parents as being more critical when compared wih the other three statuses. When asked if they would differ their parenting characteristics in the future from their parents style of parenting, the Moratoriums were found to be more dissatisfied than the Foreclosures and the Identity Diffused. When sex differences among the five part-crises of the Identity Status Interview--Revised were investigated, no significant differences were found. This was probably influenced by the extremely skewed distribution of subjects among the four statuses, with the large majority of subjects falling in the lower statuses of Identity Diffused and Foreclosure.