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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1995 Sep;69(3):544-57.

Identity in three cohorts of midlife women.

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Institute of Personality and Social Research, University of California, Berkeley 94720-5050, USA.


To study similarities and differences in personality across historical periods, ego identity patterns, assessed by Q-sort prototypes, were compared in longitudinal samples of midlife women who had been young adults in the 1950s, early 1960s, and late 1960s. Identity pattern had similar relationships across sample with vector dimensions of the California Psychological Inventory but was related to work and family outcomes only in the younger cohorts, whose lives were less restricted. Women with the achieved-foreclosed pattern were more alike across cohort than women with the achieved-moratorium pattern. Among the latter, independence and high aspirations were salient salient features of the younger cohorts, whereas interest in motives of self and others were salient in the older cohort.

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