Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The development of ego identity in second generation migrant adolescents

Guzman, Ana Maria (1985) The development of ego identity in second generation migrant adolescents. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Available Upon Request


This study used the extended version of the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status, which is based on the identity status paradigm developed by Marcia (1966), to examine the effects of several variables on identity development.

The relationship of ego identity to ethnic background, sex-role, intergenerational conflict, and self-esteem was investigated in a group of 278 year 11 and 12 students from four catholic schools in Perth, Western Australia. To study the effects of ethnicity on identity development, the subjects were divided into 2 main categories, Anglo-Australian and combined-Ethnic, which were further subdivided into four groups, Australian, Anglo, Italian, and Ethnic. Significant differences between these groups were obtained with regards to identity achievement. Both Anglo and Ethnic adolescents obtained significantly higher achievement stage scale scores than Australian and Italian adolescents. With regards to identity foreclosure, it was found that Italian adolescents were significantly more foreclosed than the Australian adolescents and more foreclosed than Ethnic and Anglo adolescents.

These findings suggested that culture-specific factors affect identity development conflict to a greater degree than cultural conflict.

Culture specific factors were also reflected in the results obtained for sex-role orientation. Females in the combined-Ethnic group tended to be more sex-typed than Anglo-Australian females, while males in the combined-Ethnic group were significantly more androgynous than the Anglo-Australian males. Furthermore, a masculine orientation in Anglo-Australian males seemed to be associated with identity achievement, while in all other groups an androgynous orientation tended to be associated with identity achievement. With regards to intergenerational conflict, the findings did not support the cultural conflict hypothesis, although females in the combined-Ethnic group tended to report more frequent disagreement with parents, as well as more drastic modes of handling these disagreements than all other groups.
The effects of ethnic identification on the identity development of the adolescents in the combined-ethnic group were also studied. The results tended to suggest that those individuals who did not consider themselves highly Australian, while they identified strongly with their own ethnic group, tended to be in the identity foreclosure status. Identity achievement seemed to be associated with high identification with the Australian culture, either to the exclusion of, or along with, high identification with the ethnic culture.

Androgynous males and females were found to score significantly higher than undifferentiated males and females on a self-esteem measure.

Theoretically consistent findings regarding the relationship between identity status and self-esteem, and identity status and sex-role, provided predictive validity for the extended version of the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (EOM-EIS) .

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Inquiry
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Garton, Alison and Peterson, Candi
Item Control Page Item Control Page