Journal of adolescence vol:24 issue:6 pages:681-699
The present study explored the potential usefulness of global identity statuses (ideological identity) as opposed to domain-specific statuses (occupation, religion, politics) using self-report measures rather than identity interviews. A total of 339 college students from two colleges in Belgium (Europe) completed both the Extended Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status (EOM-EIS) and the Dellas Identity Status Inventory - Occupation, Religious Beliefs, Political Ideology (DISI-ORP). Four types of evidence argued in favour of domain-specific statuses (i.e. low convergence in identity status across domains, moderate convergence between global and domain-specific identity statuses, significant gender differences in domain-specific but not in global identity statuses, and significant associations between identity process and identity content in congruent but not in incongruent domains). In line with earlier research using identity status interviews, it was concluded that adolescent identity is not to be considered a unitary construct and the use of domain-specific identity statuses is recommended whenever possible. Theoretical implications of the findings are discussed in terms of adolescents' temporal spacing of identity concerns. Finally, the limitations of identity questionnaires (additive approach to global identity statuses) are pointed out. Identity interviews (indicative approach to global statuses) can yield a very different picture of identity. (C) 2001 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.