The Identity Statuses: Origins, Meanings, and Interpretations


This chapter describes the origins and development of the identity statuses and provides a brief overview of studies into antecedent, concurrent, and consequent implications of the construct. In so doing, it reviews selected personality, relational, behavioral, and developmental variables that have been examined in relation to the identity statuses over the past 45 years. Additionally, the chapter addresses some of the many implications that the identity statuses hold for intervention as well as the relationship of the identity status paradigm to other models of identity. The rootedness of the identity statuses in Erikson’s concept of identity versus identity diffusion (confusion) is discussed, and meta-analyses of the identity statuses in relation to selected variables are presented. Therapeutic and educational interventions for individuals in each identity status are also discussed. One always begins with a theory. The only question is whether or not that theory is made explicit and testable, or remains implicit and untestable. Only when theories are made explicit can their propositions be falsified. The identity statuses—on which much current identity theory and research is based (Kroger, 2007)—originated from attempts to validate a major construct, ego J. Kroger ( ) Psychology Department, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway e-mail: identity, drawn from Erikson’s (1950) ego psychoanalytic theory. In this chapter, James Marcia begins by detailing the origins and meanings of the identity statuses. He also provides thoughts on the construct validity and measurement of identity. Jane Kroger then turns to the interpretations of the identity statuses by reviewing studies that address key questions that have been asked by identity status researchers over the history of the model, spanning more than 40 years. She concludes with comments on the implications of the identity statuses for intervention as well as the place of the identity status paradigm in relation to other perspectives on identity covered in the present volume. 31 S.J. Schwartz et al. (eds.), Handbook of Identity Theory and Research, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-7988-9_2, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011 32 J. Kroger and J.E. Marcia Origins andMeanings of the Identity Statuses

Extracted Key Phrases

Citations per Year

73 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 73 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Kroger2015TheIS, title={The Identity Statuses: Origins, Meanings, and Interpretations}, author={Jane Kroger and James E. Marcia}, year={2015} }