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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1987 Sep;53(3):531-41.

Two conceptions of maturity examined in the findings of a longitudinal study.

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Institute of Personality Assessment and Research, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The third vector score (competence) of the revised California Psychological Inventory (CPI) and ego level as assessed by the Loevinger Sentence Completion Test (SCT) are measures of alternative ways of conceptualizing maturity: as the ability of the individual to function effectively in society or as the degree of intrapsychic differentiation and autonomy. A longitudinal study of women (for the CPI, N = 107; for the SCT, N = 90) provides these two measures of maturity at age 43. Competence and ego level were correlated with antecedent and concurrent measures selected from inventories and life history material concerning work, marriage, relations with parents, and so forth, to assess aspects of maturity adapted from Allport: self-extension in significant endeavors, reality orientation in perception of self and others and in the conduct of one's activities, capacity for intimacy, emotional security, and individuality of personal integration. Results from the age-21 data indicate that competence and ego level are enduring trait complexes. Despite considerable overlap, they differ conspicuously in the greater emphasis of competence on emotional security and of ego level on individuality of personal integration. Analysis of the patterning of competence and ego level in the whole sample and in homogeneous groups high on one or both measures suggests psychological reasons why the two types of maturity diverge and why the relation of ego level to adjustment seems to be curvilinear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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