The Identity Status of African Americans in Middle Adolescence: A Reexamination of Watson and Protinsky (1991)
Forbes, Sean, Ashton, Patricia, Adolescence
Few studies have assessed the identity development of African American middle adolescents. Hauser (1972), using Marcia's (1966) Identity Status Interview, found that African American middle adolescents were overrepresented in the foreclosed identity status (identity commitment without ever having considered alternatives; there has never been a crisis, and the choice of identity may be as much an authority figure's as it is the individual's). In a more recent study, however, Watson and Protinsky (1991), administering a revised version of the Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (EOM-EIS), found that African American middle adolescents did not experience identity foreclosure to a greater extent than did their Caucasian peers. In fact, most (79.3%) had not yet made identity commitments in the ideological domain (occupation, religion, politics, and lifestyle). Watson and Protinsky's findings support the work of Erikson (1968), who argued that although the identity crisis begins at the onset of adolescence, the critical period for solidifying identity is late adolescence (ages 18-22). That is, due to childhood identifications and lack of experience with the adult world, middle adolescents (14-18) usually have not crystallized an identity (Adams & Jones, 1983).
Watson and Protinsky (1991) assessed identity …
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Publication information: Article title: The Identity Status of African Americans in Middle Adolescence: A Reexamination of Watson and Protinsky (1991). Contributors: Forbes, Sean - Author, Ashton, Patricia - Author. Journal title: Adolescence. Volume: 33. Issue: 132 Publication date: Winter 1998. Page number: 845+. © 1999 Libra Publishers, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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