Scholarly article on topic 'The Relationship Between Identity Statuses and Attitudes Toward Intimately Relations Considering the Gender Factor'

The Relationship Between Identity Statuses and Attitudes Toward Intimately Relations Considering the Gender Factor Academic research paper on "Psychology"

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Abstract of research paper on Psychology, author of scientific article — Toloue Keybollahi, Mohsen Mansoobifar, Adis Kraskian Mujembari

Abstract The present research has been carried out with the objective of studying the relation between identity status and Attitudes of Intimately relationships considering the role of sex among university students, hi retrospective study, 210 university students (62 males and 148 females) selected among university students of Alborz Province using multistage random sampling method, answered questionnaires on status of the young identity and Intimacy Attitudes Scale. The finding obtained from the average test of two independent groups, significance testing of Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient, multivariate analysis regression, showed that achievement identity in females and diffusion identity and prohibited identity in males are higher. There is direct correlation between Attitudes of Intimately relationships with achievement identity and counter-relation with moratorium and prohibited identities. And achievement, moratorium, and prohibited identities have an effective role in Attitudes of Intimately relationships.

Academic research paper on topic "The Relationship Between Identity Statuses and Attitudes Toward Intimately Relations Considering the Gender Factor"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 (2012) 899 - 903

WCES 2012

The relationship between identity statuses and attitudes toward intimately relations considering the gender factor

Toloue Keybollahi a*, Mohsen Mansoobifar b, Adis Kraskian Mujembari b

a Graduate of Personality Psychology, Department of Psychology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University (IAU), Alborz, Iran b Department of psychology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University (IAU), Alborz, Iran _bDepartment of psychology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University (IAU), Alborz, Iran_

Abstract

The present research has been carried out with the objective of studying the relation between identity status and Attitudes of Intimately relationships considering the role of sex among university students. In retrospective study, 210 university students (62 males and 148 females) selected among university students of Alborz Province using multistage random sampling method, answered questionnaires on status of the young identity and Intimacy Attitudes Scale. The finding obtained from the average test of two independent groups, significance testing of Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient, multivariate analysis regression, showed that achievement identity in females and diffusion identity and prohibited identity in males are higher. There is direct correlation between Attitudes of Intimately relationships with achievement identity and counter-relation with moratorium and prohibited identities. And achievement, moratorium, and prohibited identities have an effective role in Attitudes of Intimately relationships.

© 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu Keywords: Identity status; Attitudes of Intimately Relationships; Sex

1. Introduction

According to Erikson's theory, establishing a fixed, coherent sense of identity is the main task of the individual during adolescence [1]. The adolescent in this stage must search, learn, and put together the information she needs for attaining requirements of making and keeping her/ his roles in adult life [2].

Formation of identity paves the way for some challenges in young adulthood, including intimacy or a capacity for mutual openness and having relations with others.

The youth take these steps to prepare for this ability: early relation with caregivers in childhood, early relations with prepare in adolescence, and finally entering adulthood in which, in optimal case, individuals can have the ability to make intimate relationships besides mutual trust [3].

Many developmental tasks that considered as characteristics of adolescence earlier (including identity formation) continue in adolescence [4] and because many adulthood tasks (including the ability to achieve real intimacy) emerge in adolescence [5], in can be said that developmental processes of achieving and stabilizing integrated identity overlap with processes of initiating and protecting real intimacy and have an effect on that [1].

* Toloue Keybollahi.Tel.: +98-919-3718041, Fax: +98-21-88082898 . E-mail Address: tkeybollahi@yahoo.com .

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.05.220

Yet, Erikson argued that even though other forms of intimacy are part of natural development, experiencing authentic intimacy with another person is only possible after achieving a wise sense of identity; because "the conditions of twines is that one must first become oneself" He considered intimacy tasks as key factors in transition from adolescence to adulthood, in which major experiences of past and present have negative or positive effects on the life of the youth. For best, adolescents will have a capacity of intimacy based on an integrated sense of self [6]. Among the signs of having this capability is having tendency for taking part in close, warm, communicative, and committed interactions, which have a fundamental role in successful and fruitful adult life [7].

Erikson, also considered the sense of intimacy as the tendency to participate in a lovely protective relation without losing "self". Therefore, growth and development of self is considered as one of the main aspect of development of sound interpersonal intimacy. In his hypothesis of intimacy and identity as separate (but related) process under the effect of sexual experiences, Erikson made a theoretical scheme that led to different developmental research [3, 8, 9, 10,1].

Probably the interest of researchers in studying identity and merging it with intimacy is an indicator of strong conceptual relationship between these stages. In other words, a strong identity prepares the adolescent for achieving intimacy and love. Specifically, Adams and Archer pointed out that contributions of identity to social life are reflected in intimacy [11].

On the other hand, different statuses are always evident in identity and it is confirmed by researchers. Moreover, assessments have shown that gender may have effect on some aspects of identity formation and so on intimacy.

Marcia have suggested the identity status pattern based on Erikson works, to explain structure and process of change of identity. In this pattern, according to personal search- that is primitively called identity crisis- he proposed topics related to individual and situation (e.g. searching religious believes), level of commitment (eg being committed to a specific religion), and the four identity statuses (achievment, moratorium, foreclosure, and diffused[12].

Berzonsky also brought up a cognitive- social view and concluded that individual found, protect, and review the grades related to themselves, or generally their identity, based on three cognitive processing directions.

These identity processing styles are: informative style, normative style, and diffused/ avoidant style[13]. Archer made the male and female identity development assessment within Erikson,s traditional theory. Findings of two separate examinations by Archer showed that there is no significant difference between males and females. In the first assessment Archer found that females and males experience identity statuses in a similar manner. The second assessment showed that both males and females engage in the identity development process in the same way; except for the identity status of fore closure, where men enter this situation more than women. Regarding political ideology, men were more in foreclosure status and women were more in the diffusion status. Taking fairly roles into consideration, moratorium and achieved statuses were more evident in females than in males[14].

Abraham and Strimiter in separate studies concluded that women get higher scores on achieved identity scale than their male peers. Grotevamt and Adams, Meed reported similar findings. Although, barker and Fegeu reported, in a higher age sample, that women uniformly get higher scores on moratorium and diffused scales. J ones reported that midlife women get higher scores on foreclosure scale.

Adams and Fitch in a longitudinal study of identity development with a random sample of adolescents concluded that there is no gender difference in formation of identity.

About different methods of showing intimacy in males and females, Hook et al said that women show intimacy as love, emotion, and warm sentiments, where men consider intimacy as participating in activities, bodily closeness, having intimate time, and sexual behaviours[15].

Another point in gender differences reported in patterns of intimacy indicates that men and women uniformly mind intimate relations, but have different criteria for assessing intimacy. Woman consider self expression as intimacy in relations, and for men intimacy in participation in activities [16].

In another study, 56% of men and 87% of women believed that self expression is a criterion for intimacy, where as 9% men and 0% women defined intimacy as joint activities [17]. Considering the existing background, the present study is to answer the following:

- Are women and men experiencing identity statuses uniformly?

- Does gender have a role in people's attitude toward intimate relations?

- Can different identity statuses in people play a role in predicting their attitudes toward having intimate relations?

2. Method

This is a retrospective research. The statistical population includes all college students in Alborz province who are studing in one of universities with in the province during the time period of this study.

2.1. Sampling

Sample size is 210 (62 male, 148 female) students in Alborz province selected through multistage random sampling.

2.2. The follwing instruments are usedfor data collection;

Intimate attitudes measuring Questionnaire for measuring intimate attitudes of subjects in this study toward establishing intimate relationships the revised version of intimate attitudes measuring scale was used, which was made by tread well in 1983 [18]. Treadwell and Amidon reported the validity of this scale as 0.68- 0.78 in cronbach's alpha method and 0.84 in test retest method. In iron, Moradi reported Cronbach's alpha 0.72 in preliminary normative study administering the scale on 80 people in Esfahan civil society[19].

Youth identity Questionnaire. This questionnaire contains 125 items measuring five identity statuses including achieved identity, foreclosure, diffused, moratorium, and prohibited identity. Each one of these statuses are examined through five parameters of national, religious, individual, social, and job identity. Validity of the five statuses of the questionnaire and its overall validity are preliminarily calculated for youth and the reported cronbach's alpha is 0.75-0.90. structural reliability of the questionnaire is assessed using factor analysis and finally five significant factors are attracted that overally explain about 50% of covariance between items of questionnaire, that indicates an acceptable reliability for this instrument [20].

3. Results

Two independent groups mean test was used for assessing the role of gender in different statuses of identity and the attitudes toward intimate relation. Statistical indices and the results of tests are shown in table 1.

Table 1. two independent groups mean test for comparing men and women scores

Levene's Test for t-test for

Male Female Equality of

Variances Equality of Means

M SD M SD F df t

Achieved Identity 83.87 15.351 88.27 10.822 11.350 ** 87.472 - 2.053 *

Foreclosure Identity 69.52 14.378 67.49 11.920 1.698 208 1.054

Moratorium Identity 75.16 12.106 76.68 13.273 0.709 208 - 0.777

Diffused Identity 64.90 14.017 60.93 12.055 1.523 208 2.077 *

Prohibited Identity 64.32 13.088 57.61 13.245 0.019 208 3.359 **

Attitudes toward Intimate Relation 161.97 16.929 166.93 18.610 1.552 208 - 1.810

* p<0.05, ** p<0.01

As the table shows, there is no difference between fore closure and moratorium identity in men and women. But the diffused and prohibited identity of men are higher than women and the achieved identity of women are higher than men. Also in attitudes toward intimate relation there is no significant difference between men and women. In order to assess the relationship between identity statuses and attitude toward intimate relations and there role of identity statuses in peoples attitude toward establishing intimate relations, person's moment correlation coefficient and multivariate regret ion were used. The calculated correlation coefficients along with results of tests for these coefficients are reported in table 2.

Table 2. correlation coefficients between identity statuses and attitudes toward intimate relations

M SD 1 2 3 4 5

1. Achieved Identity 86.97 12.458 1.000

2. Foreclosure Identity 68.09 12.694 0.155 ** 1.000

3. Moratorium Identity 76.23 12.930 - 0.005 0.280 ** 1.000

4. Diffused Identity 62.10 12.762 - 0.427 ** 0.352 ** 0.556 ** 1.000

5. Prohibited Identity 59.60 13.520 - 0.325 ** 0.318 ** 0.45 ** 0.749 ** 1.000

• Attitudes toward Intimate Relation 165.47 18.232 0.142 * - 0.101 - 0.206 ** - 0.163 * - 0.236 **

* p<0.05, ** p<0.01

According to the results in table 2, there is a direct relation between attitude toward intimate relations and achieved identity, and a reverse relation attitude toward intimate relations and moratorium, diffused, and identity. To determine the predictive role of each identity status in attitude toward intimate relationships, multiple regression analysis was uses, the results of which can be seen in table 3.

Table 3. multiple regression analysis for predicting attitudes toward intimate relationship based on identity statuses

Predictor B ß t

(a) 171.380 12.503 **

Achieved Identity 0.255 0.174 2.106 *

Foreclosure Identity - 0.110 - 0.077 - 1.000

Moratorium Identity - 0.289 - 0.205 - 2.420 *

Diffused Identity 0.324 0.227 1.859

Prohibited Identity - 0.314 - 0.233 - 2.299 *

* p<0.05, ** p<0.01 note: R2 =0.093 (N=210)

The results indicate predictive role of achievement, moratorium, and prohibited identities in attitudes toward intimate relationships. The role of achieved identity is direct, but moratorium and prohibited identities are reversed predictors of the criterion variable.

4. Conclusion

Findings of present study regarding indifference between males and females in attitude toward intimacy are in line with findings of Aukett, Ritchie, & Mill [16] Rawlins [21], Reid & Fine [22], Beyers [6], and Lindquist [23] and inconsistent with findings of Wright [24] and Berzonsky & Kuk [25]. Social conditioning and inter dependence theories, like reinforcement theories, emphasis on the role of amplifiers in intimate relationships, results of an interview study on a group of single and married men showed that many men are dissatisfied with not being able to talk about personal and emotional issues, yet have a fear of facing probable negative reactions after seeking more intimate interactions [22]. Also, theme are much agreement on gender differences that are not related to gender or age, but are only gender stereotypes. Many researchers believe that intimacy is conceptualized and measured in a Feministic biased way [21]. The fact that many differences between men and women are deceptive and appearance deep does not mean that there is no difference. As pointed out earlier, some researchers have presented evidence of difference in various aspects of intimacy (emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social- recreational, sexual, psychological between males and females. Therefore we find that intimacy is not an independent structure, but a multi dimentional and multifaceted structure. Thence, in explaining the observed indifference between attitudes of males and females toward intimacy (in present study) it can be argued that despite different stereotypes and reinforcements, men and women are uniformly inclined to intimate relationships and mind it. But qualitative gender differences in intimacy are inevitable? Findings of this study are inconsistent with findings of Adams & Fitch, Abraham et al and Benin, Adams & Clancay. who concluded that there are no gender differences in identity formation, and in line with findings of Abraham and Streetmer who found in separate studies that women have higher scores on achieved identity and Grotevant & Adams and Meed who reported similar results[7]. Since those

who use informative identity style are more in achieved identity status, the results of this study are also in line with findings of Berzonsky [13] who found that scores of women in formative identity are significantly higher. Berzonsky argues that the wider participation of women in social groups and networks in the cause of this difference and be lives that participating in social groups results in increase of targeted and spontaneous behavior which is in line with behaviors related to achieved identity.

Finding of present study about predictive role of achieved identity in intimacy are consistent with Eriksson's theory in 21 century. On the other hand, results of this research point to the reverse role of moratorium and prohibited statuses in predicting intimacy. Berzonsky & Kuk [25] believe that diffused people have problems forming friendly relations and keeping social support network. They have loose relations with their peers and are in a lower level of intimacy and openness in relationship .

As the individual in prohibited statues have taken action to put his / her challenges a way and have a hostile approached, this explanation can be true of the recent status.

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