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This paper explores the process of identity formation as related to adolescents' level of moral development, race, sex, and family configuration. Ego identity was operationalized into four identity statuses based on an adolescent's reported degree of exploration and goal commitment in the areas of occupation, religion, politics, and philosophy (ideological identity) and in the areas of friendship, dating, sex roles, and recreation (interpersonal identity). People with the status of "identity achievement" have experienced a crisis, resolved it successfully, and are pursuing self-chosen goals. Individuals of "foreclosure" status also have an identity, but it is parentally or societally chosen. People classified as "identity diffused" may or may not have experienced a crisis, and are not pursuing any goals. The fourth status, "moratorium," includes those individuals who are actually in crisis and have goals that are present but vague. Subjects were 288 ninth grade students (the entire class) from a small southeastern town, who completed the Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status - Final Revision and the Sociomoral Reflection Objective Measure. School records provided demographic data, and a student checklist indicated family configuration. Ideological identity was related to sex, race, and family configuration, but not to level of moral reasoning. No significant associations were found for interpersonal identity. (KS)

Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Adolescents, Family Structure, Grade 9, Moral Development, Racial Differences, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Self Concept, Sex Differences

Autor: Manners, Pamela A.; Smart, David J.


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