Term of Award

Fall 1994

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret Lloyd

Committee Member 1

Janice Kennedy

Committee Member 2

Edward Smith

Abstract

The roles of gender, attachment, and gender-role orientation in identity and intimacy formation were examined. Prior research has indicated that identity and intimacy may have reciprocal influence- It has also shown that both attachment style and gender-role orientation influence identity and intimacy formation. One hundred ninety-eight undergraduate college students were assessed on attachment, identity, intimacy, and gender-role orientation. It was predicted that (a) identity status and intimacy status would have positive reciprocal influence, and (b) attachment and gender-role orientation would interact in their influence on both identity and intimacy development. Statistical analyses supported the first prediction in that subjects rated as high in identity status scored higher on intimacy than those rated low in identity. Similarly, those rated as high in intimacy status scored higher on identity than those rated as low in intimacy. The analyses provided only partial support for the second prediction. An attachment/gender-role orientation interaction was found only on the Moratorium subscale of the identity measure. Results are discussed in terms of the relationship of attachment variables to identity and intimacy development.

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