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Ego-identity status and narrative structure in retrospective accounts of parental career influence Sankey, Andria M. 1993

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EGO-IDENTITY STATUS AND NARRATIVE STRUCTURE IN RETROSPECTIVE ACCOUNTS OF PARENTAL CAREER INFLUENCE by ANDRIA N. B.Sc.,  SANKEY  The University of Victoria,  1989  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December,  0  1993  Andria Sankey3  In  presenting  this  thesis  in  partial  fulfilment  of the  requirements for degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  an  advanced  shall make it for extensive head of my  It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date I2CQC’  DE-6 (2/88)  ii  Abstract In this paper, the relationship between identity status categories and the experience of parental influence on career development is examined. The narratives of 11 young adults  (18  -  25 years of age)  regarding significant events  through which their parents influenced them were first classified by narrative structure based on Gergen and Gergen’s (1986)  narrative macrostructure framework. Three  narrative types were identified and illustrated. They are, the Progressive Narrative with Negatively Evaluated Stages, Point,  the Progressive Narrative with a Dramatic Turning and the Progressive Narrative Within a Positive  Evaluation Frame. These resulting narrative types were then assessed in terms of their relationship to each participant’s scores on the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status  (Grotevant & Adams,  1984).  Both  observational associations and a chi square correlation suggest a relationship. To validate the structural analysis,  individual narratives were then analyzed in  detail by a phenomenological method proposed by Giorgi (1975).  Fourteen dominant themes were extracted and  illustrated.  Several patterns of themes were observed as  relating to identity status classifications of the participants. The results of this study provide further understanding of the role of parental influence in the  iii lives and career directions of young people. They also suggest that the experience of parental influence on career development for this population may be reflective of on&s stage of identity formation,  or to the process of  exploring and committing to career values and goals.  iv TABLE OF CONTENTS  1bstract  .  Table of Contents  .  List of Tables List of Figures  ii iv vi  vii  1 9 12 14  CHAPTER I  Introduction Statement of the Problem Definition of terms Significance of the study  CHAPTER II  15 Review of the Literature 15 Introduction Identity Status and its Relationship 16 to Career Development 30 Assessment of Identity Status Gender Differences in Identity Status .33 36 Family Influence Variables 36 Studies on Identity Status 46 Studies on Career Development A Narrative Approach to Understanding 57 Parental Influence  CHAPTER III  Method Sample Instrumentation Demographic Information Measurement of Identity Status Narrative Structure as an Assessment of Parental Influence Interview Methods Follow—up Interview Reliability and Validity Procedure Analysis and Interpretation Summaries Limitations  CHAPTER IV  Results Structural Analysis Analysis of the Relationship Between Narrative Structure and Identity Status Phenomenological Analysis Examination of Themes A Detailed Description of Themes  66 66 67 67 67 71 71 73 73 75 77 80 81 83 84  106 111 114 116  V  Summary . 152 Associations With Identity Status 155 Demographic Information 157 CHAPTER V  Discussion Implications for Practice Suggestions for Future Research Conclusion  REFERENCES APPENDIX  159 173 176 177  179 A. Participant Informed Consent B. Introduction to Questionnaires C. Demographic Questionnaire D. The Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status E. Interview Procedure and Questions  189 191 192 193 198  vi LIST OF TABLES Table 1.  Table 2.  Distribution of Identity Status Scores on the EOMEIS-2  85  Means and Standard Deviations of Identity Status Scales  85  vii LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1.  Figure 2. Figure 3.  Progressive Narrative With Negatively Evaluated Stages Progressive Narrative With a Dramatic Turning Point Progressive Narrative Within a Positive Evaluation Frame  89  96 102  1 CHAPTER ONE  Introduction  As individuals we are continually going through a process of trying to make sense of our past and reflecting on what we want out of life.  In other words,  in our search  to develop a sense of who we are, we have to have a notion of “how we have become and where we are going”  (Taylor,  1989). We are, then, needing to make sense of our lives in order to gain an identity. Although most developmental theorists would agree that this process of identity formation is continually evolving throughout the lifespan,  considerable research  exists on identity development that supports the notion that a progressive strengthening in the sense of personal identity is emphasized during adolescence and young adulthood.  It is evident that identity formation by young  people is not a single, global undertaking but is a series of particular, yet interrelated tasks by which the individual establishes his or her personal goals, values and beliefs (Waterman,  1985), to make possible the adult  capacity to love and to work (Gilligan,  1982).  In outlining his belief that identity formation is one of the primary developmental tasks facing adolescents, Erikson  (1956,  1968)  asserts that a coherent sense of  identity requires a self-concept that is stable over time. Furthermore,  the self-concept must contain  2 self—knowledge about how one acts, thinks and feels in a variety of situations, and must be organized into a conceptualization of how one is both separate from, yet connected with others. foster an integrated,  Some developmental influences can stable perception of oneself as  separate and distinct from others, while others can impair this process  (Conger,  1973),  leading to what Erikson  called identity diffusion. Several theorists (e.g., Erikson, 1982)  1968; Gilligan,  have emphasized the task of individuating from one’s  parents,  as being an important influence on the  establishment of a mature ego identity.  In a recent review  of the contribution of the family to the facilitation of identity development, Grotevant (1983)  concluded that  identity formation is facilitated by a balance between family connectedness and the encouragement of individuality  (or the establishment of autonomously held  viewpoints). Josselson (1980)  suggests that it is only  through individuation that enough autonomy is learned to master the tasks of identity formation.  So, qualitative  growth in ego-identity is thought to occur through the process of personal examination or exploration of the attitudes, values,  and opinions of those in our social—  environmental contexts——the family context being an especially strong influence in facilitating or retarding identity formation development (Campbell, Adams & Dobson,  3 1984; Adams & Fitch,  1983). Tying together his ideas about  identity development during adolescence and the notion of parental influence, Erikson (1968)  suggests that identity  formation requires a certain amount of rebellion or rejection of parental ideas. He writes: The wholeness to be achieved at this stage (adolescence)  I have called a sense of inner  identity. The young person,  in order to experience  wholeness, must feel a progressive continuity between that which he has become to be during the long years of childhood and that which he conceives himself to be and that which he perceives others to see in him and to expect of him. speaking,  Individually  identity includes, but is more than the  sum of all the successive identifications of those earlier years when the child wanted to be, often forced to become, on.  and was  like the people he depended  Identity is a unique product, which now meets a  crisis to be solved only in new identifications with age mates and with leader figures outside the family.  (p.  Erikson  (1968) proposed that such “rejection” of  87)  parental ideas is necessary in one’s determining an occupational or vocational identity, which itself represents one of the central challenges of the identity formation processes in late adolescence. Expanding on this  4 idea, Marcia  (1966)  suggested that identity is clearly  expressed through the occupational,  ideological, and  interpersonal commitments one makes with society. He thus describes four possible outcomes of the identity formation process. These are based on whether individuals have experienced a period of exploration and/or commitment to occupational,  ideological, and interpersonal choices.  Individuals who avoid an exploration period by following the commitments prescribed by their parents are considered to have a Foreclosed identity. They have made commitments without fully exploring alternative options. Individuals who have explored options and have made commitments based on their own decision—making process are considered to have an Achieved identity.  Individuals  currently struggling with an identity crisis are considered to have a Moratorium status. They are exploring without yet having made commitments. And finally, those individuals who have not explored and have not made commitments are considered to have a Diffused identity. Marcia’s work will be explored more fully in the second chapter of this paper. There appear to be several theoretical linkages between identity formation, as proposed by Erikson and Marcia  (1968)  (1966), and career development processes.  Career development theorists,  for example, have suggested  that the degree to which individuals are able to establish  5 coherent career plans seems to be linked to their progress in forming a crystallized self-concept or identity (Harren,  1979; Super,  1957). These theorists also suggest  that the active consideration or exploration of alternatives and the commitment to clearly delineated values,  beliefs and attitudes,  are the major tasks  involved in the crystallization of career goals 1979; Super,  1957; Tiedeman & O’Hara,  (Harren,  1963). As suggested  earlier, these two developmental tasks are similarly considered important in identity formation (Marcia,  1966).  In short, the two developmental tasks of exploration and commitment provide the dimensions by which both the ego identity and career development processes are conceptualized (Blusteiri, Devenis & Kidney,  1989).  Further  still, both career development and identity formation theorists have suggested that exploratory activity in late adolescence may reflect an individual’s means of seeking information about oneself and the environment in order to clarify one’s overall self—concept or identity (Grotevant & Cooper,  1988; Waterman,  1985). Both bodies of research  also assert the importance of parental influence in facilitating career development and identity formation processes in adolescents and young adults. Counsellors have long recognized the connection between the constructs of identity and career as theoretically significant in counselling, guidance and  6 career development 1963),  (Blocher,  1966; Tiedeman & O’Hara,  however little effort has been directed toward  investigating the possibility that resolving career development tasks may be related to the identity formation process in late adolescence 1989)  Harmon and Farmer  (Blustein, Devenis & Kidney,  (1983)  have pointed out that few  vocational researchers have taken an interest in Eriksonian theory,  and the same can be said for the  interest of identity researchers with respect to vocational development theory as a source of explanation for adolescent vocational attitudes and behaviour.  The  relationship between psychosocial maturity and career development therefore, remains relatively unexplored empirically. Recent articles  (Gelso & Fassinger,  1990; Raskin,  Phillips,  1985)  1992; Blustein &  have suggested that the ego-  identity status paradigm might be successfully integrated into career development theory,  and likewise,  that our  understanding of identity formation would be enhanced by integrating these two areas  (Blustein, Devenis & Kidney,  1989; Munley,  1985). Raskin  example,  1975; Raskin,  (1985),  for  suggests the possibility of a parallel between  career development variables such as career maturity, decision—making, influence,  exploratory behaviour and parental  and vocational identity status.  7 Narrative Structure in Addressing Parental Influence As previously outlined, the process of identity formation advances as the adolescent explores possibilities for a new integrated sense of self and ultimately makes commitments to such choices as career goals and values. identity,  So,  in order to achieve a stable  individuals must go through a process of  questioning the goals and values of significant others in their lives. For most young people, parents comprise an important part of the environment with which they have a dynamic interaction. Parents are transmitters of cultural values and norms that can have a critical impact on their child’s development  (Young & Friesen,  1992).  Sebald (1986)  suggests that adolescents continue to seek out and rely on their parents as the main source of advice and guidance with regard their future education and career goals. A question arises then,  concerning the nature of experiences  with parents that seem to promote the exploration and individuation process that leads to the achievement of an identity. The notion of influence (e.g., on adolescent career development)  implies a connection between past events and  the present,  or future events.  Similarly, Erikson (1968)  and other developmental theorists  (e.g., Loevinger,  1976)  assert the importance of striving to make sense of past  8 experience in the identity development process.  So,  although parents have traditionally been thought of as an important influence on the career development and lives of their children, attention could be paid to how this influence is perceived by individuals at different stages of the identity formation process. One approach to the study of perceived parental influence involves the use of narrative or life—story (Young, Friesen,  & Borycki,  in press). This approach is  based on the belief that individuals attach meanings to events in their lives by constructing storied accounts of one makes  them. As one constructs the story of one’s life,  connections, uses themes, and implies causality (Young et al.,  in press). Past events are generally reconstituted  and linked together in a form which leads to, is conditioned by the present (Robinson, then,  explains and  1990). Narrative,  creates self—knowledge, and is the primary vehicle  through which a person makes sense of one’s history. Consequently,  every individual life story is unique.  So, through the use of narrative as a means of addressing perceived parental influence on career development in the current investigation, naturally occurring texts of identity emerged in the course of telling one’s story. As Mishler (1986)  states:  • first, whatever else the story is about it is also a form of self—presentation, that is,  a  9 particular personal-social identity is being claimed.  identity is expressed through various  So,  particulars of the account, and to the way it represents themes and values. said functions to express,  Second,  everything  confirm, and validate  this claimed identity. This supports our search for identity relevant material throughout the account. It is suggested that in the current study the resulting stories,  or narratives,  although structured  differently for each individual, might actually be representative of narratives of those sharing a similar identity status. The construct of identity status then, may prove to be a means of expanding our understanding of the nature of perceived parental influence on the career development and lives of their children. Statement of the problem The purposes of the current investigation are twofold:  First, to more fully understand the nature of  parent/child experiences that are perceived as facilitating or inhibiting of the child’s career development and how these are structured in relation to their pursuit of career goals, and secondly,  to observe  whether the experience of parental influence may be reflective of one’s identity status. Looking specifically at narratives of perceived parental influence on career  10 development,  it seems likely that they would be reflective  of individual differences in the progress of identity formation. Referring to a study by Young et al. press),  (in  in which narratives of perceived parental  influence were analyzed, A. Waterman (personal communication, May 25,  1992)  suggests that the resulting  narrative structures could likely be translated into identity status terminology. Consistent with this hypothesis, measures of psychosocial identity such as the identity status paradigm developed by Marcia  (1966) might be predictive of  differences in the quality of relationships between young people and their parents--this in turn may affect their career development and pursuit of life goals.  So,  identity  status might represent one of the variables contributing to the diversity of experiences of parental influence in the explanation of young people’s career development. It is expected that these themes would become evident through individual life story or narrative analysis. The attempt here then,  is firstly, to more fully  understand how young people construct stories of their lives accounting for parental influence on career development, and to determine whether these narratives, and the themes therein, issues.  are reflective of identity status  Secondly, through a narrative perspective, this  research will attempt to provide a new approach to  11 understanding identity status differences. Questions that will be considered in narrative analysis include: 1. How do young adults experience the influence of their parents on their lives and careers? 2. How are these experiences structured in relation to their life goals? 3.  Do individuals of differing identity status  structure narratives of parental influence differently? 4. Are there common themes associated with the experience of parental influence on career development inherent in the narratives of individuals sharing an identity status? 5. Do the narratives show evidence of “crisis points” and “commitments” to particular career goals and values? In addressing the questions posed by this research, narratives of parental influence will first be classified and analyzed in terms of their structure, or in other words in terms of how each participant organizes specific events in their lives in relation to their life goals. The relationship between identity status classifications, indicated by an identity status measure,  as  and narrative  structure types will be considered. Secondly,  to validate  the structural analysis, a phenomenological method will then be applied to the data to discover dominant themes apparent in each narrative. Again, possible associations between patterns of themes and identity status  12 classifications will be monitored. Definitions of terms This section defines the terms to be used in the current study. As the term will be used here,  identity refers to  having a clearly delineated self-definition, a selfdefinition comprised of those goals, values,  and beliefs  which the person finds personally expressive and to which he or she is committed (Waterman,  1985).  Identity is  discussed using Marcia’s (1966), operationalizations of Erikson’s  (1968)  conceptualizations of identity formation foreclosure,  during adolescence (identity diffusion,  moratorium and identity achieved--as described in an earlier section of this paper). The term career will be used in a very broad sense, meaning to include more than simply one’s vocational choice. A definition provided by Super considered appropriate:  (1980, p.282)  is  “the combination of roles played  by a person during the course of a lifetime.” For example, Super discusses nine roles that an individual may move through during his or her career: child, leisurite, citizen, worker,  student,  spouse, homemaker,  parent and  pensioner. These roles vary in importance as he/she moves through life. Career development, involves a process that:  also broadly defined, thus  13 ...occurs over a lifespan and is significantly influenced by self-concept and by social, physical, and psychological forces in one’s world & Splete,  (Pietrofesa  1975, p.1).  The subject of “one’s parents” was defined to participants in the current investigation as referring to those individuals that each participant considered to be their primary caregiver(s). Thus, the term “parent”, the current study, father,  in  included biological mother and/or  stepmother and/or father, grandmother and/or  grandfather,  and in one case, biological siblings.  Several definitions of narrative have emerged in the literature.  For the purposes of the current study,  narrative is synonymous with story. A story, then, is a symbolized account of actions of human beings that has a temporal dimension—-a beginning, (Sarbin,  1986).  a middle,  and an ending  The story is held together by  recognizable patterns of events called plots,  and central  to the plot structure are human predicaments and attempted resolutions.  In the current study, narratives will be used  as a means of understanding how young adults account for parental influence in their lives. The view is taken here, that whatever parents have done (or not done)  to influence  their children’s lives becomes part of the continuously constructed and reconstructed narrative of individual lives  (Young et al.,  in press).  14 Narrative structure is a term used to describe the analyzed,  completed narrative. By analyzing narratives or  “everyday explanations”  (Antaki,  1988)  in terms of their  narrative structure, they then become classifiable  (a  thorough discussion of this process is provided in succeeding chapters). Significance of the Study It is hopeful that the questions asked by the proposed investigation will provide information that will further an understanding of the identity formation and career development processes, possibly suggesting a link between the two fields of research. They are asked in attempt to further understand how young people construct stories of their lives accounting for parental influence, and the role that young people perceive parental influence has played in their career development. Further, these questions consider whether experiences of parental influence on career development may be reflective of identity status differences. Through such a connection, the narrative approach may provide a novel means of illustrating identity status differences. Although these questions are largely oriented towards research and contributing to psychological theory, clinical implications will also be considered.  15 CHAPTER TWO Review of the Literature  In this chapter,  literature and research relevant to  the present study are discussed and compared. The chapter is organized into three main sections:  Identity status and  its relationship to career development, parental influence variables, and the narrative approach in addressing the domain of parental influence. The first section discusses relevant research in the literature pertaining to identity formation and career development. More specifically, articles following Marcia’s  (1966)  operationalizations of Erikson’s  (1968)  conceptualizations of identity will be reviewed following a brief overview of Erikson’s developmental theory. A review of the two most widely used methods of assessing identity status is also provided. Next, parental influence variables will be considered as they relate to both the identity formation and career development processes. In the final section of this chapter, arguments supporting the use of narratives or life stories as an approach to addressing developmental issues will be presented, as will research dealing with the classification of narrative structures.  16 Identity Status and its Relationship to Career Development The current investigation argues that one lifespan developmental theory of probable importance in understanding the developmental nature of vocational behaviour is Erikson’s (1968) psychosocial theory of human development. According to his theory, an individual goes through eight developmental stages,  in each of which he or  she must cope with a central psychological problem or crisis. The eight crises,  in developmental order,  as  outlined by Erikson are: basic trust versus mistrust, autonomy versus shame, versus inferiority, confusion, stagnation,  initiative versus guilt,  industry  identity versus identity or role  intimacy versus isolation, generativity versus and ego integrity versus despair. An  individual’s resolution of each of the crises is reflected in the attitudes which develop as the outcome of each crisis stage. These basic attitudes theoretically contribute to an individual’s psychosocial effectiveness and subsequent personality development (Erikson, short,  1968).  In  Erikson set forth a theory of identity development  to account for the interactions between psychological, social, historical,  and developmental factors in the  formation of personality (Bennion & Adams,  1986). Of  particular importance to the current study are the crisis points during late adolescence associated with identity  17 formation (identity versus identity/role confusion). A profile of this stage is provided by Waterman and Whitbourne (1982): To have a strong sense of identity is to have a clear sense of self—definition, to know the goals, values and beliefs to which one is committed.  To be  identity diffuse is to be uncommitted, to be vague and unsure of who one is and where one wishes to go in life  (p.  Erikson’s  124)  (1958)  theory has become a major framework  for understanding adolescent development and the process of establishing an inner sense of identity during this stage of life In Identity:  (identity versus identity/role confusion). Youth and Crisis, Erikson (1968)  describes  identity as “the more or less actually attained but forever revised sense of the self within social reality” (p.  211). He believes identity formation is a normative  crisis of adolescence, a synthesis of past and present that provides the adolescent with the initiative to launch into the future and assume an adult role in society. Although there are tremendous variations in the duration, intensity, and ritualization of adolescence, he believes that all individuals generally start with a lack of well defined identity, which he calls Identity Diffusion.  In  early adolescence they may become foreclosed (e.g., they become committed to the values, beliefs and goals of  18 dignificant others). As life experiences increase, along with cognitive sophistication, there is quite naturally a greater exposure to a variety of options that are considered by the individual. This may result in a moratorium period during which the individual is struggling with a variety of identity issues. At this point Erikson would consider these individuals to be in a state of identity crisis. The ultimate goal is to resolve the crisis and to achieve an identity.  Erikson (1968)  asserts that this resolution of the crises of identity achievement versus identity confusion includes the evaluation of one’s own early identifications and subsequent relationships with significant others.  It  includes commitment to a personal ideology which integrates self-definition, sex-role identification, and the meaning of life. Further, achievement,  identity is never a final  but a relatively cohesive integration of  one’s own capabilities,  identifications,  and values in  relation to society’s expectations and opportunities. Thus,  identity formation does not originate, nor attain  ultimate resolution during adolescence, but continues as a developmental process throughout life  (Erikson,  1968).  Taken as a whole, Waterman (1988) points out that identity formation researchers seem to be in basic agreement with Eriksonian theory regarding the construct of identity itself and regarding the domains of an  19 individual’s life that are particularly salient in the identity formation process (e.g., As such,  occupation,  family).  Erikson proposed that determining an occupational  identity, which includes the person’s connection to the community through occupation, education, marriage,  and/or  child rearing, represents one of the central challenges of late adolescence. He states that “in general,  it is the  inability to settle on an occupational identity that disturbs most young people” in Vondracek,  (Erikson,  1959, p.  92,  cited  Similarly, career development  1992).  theorists have suggested that the degree to which individuals are able to establish coherent occupational plans seems to be linked to their progress in forming a crystallized identity (Harren, 1979; Super,  1957).  Although Erikson’s ideas have been recognized for their possible theoretical significance in career development (e.g., Blocher,  1966, Tiedeman & O’Hara,  1963),  only a few  empirical investigations have been done on this topic. Davis  (1965)  and Bell  (1968),  for example,  studied the  relationship between ego identity and vocational choice (cited in Waterman,  1985), and Hershenson (1967)  investigated the relationship of ego identity to occupational fit. Similarly, Patrick Munley (1975)  explored the  relationship between psychosocial development as described by Erikson and career development and behaviour. He found  20 that individuals who have difficulty making vocational choices are less successful in resolving Erikson’s stage crisis. Also,  that individuals who are more successful in  resolving stage crises issues are more successful in developing mature career attitudes. Crook (1982, Raskin,  1985)  cited in  also found support for the relationship  between resolution of stage crises and maturity in career attitudes. This finding in particular seems to offer support to developmental conceptualizations of vocational behaviour such as Tiedeman and O’Hara’s  (1963)  proposal  that career development takes place within the context of psychosocial development as described by Erikson. Taken as a whole, the findings of these few investigations, although somewhat dated,  indicate that ego  identity might be a promising variable in the study of vocational behaviour and development. Munley (1975), particular,  in  stated that Erikson’s theory “offers a  framework for integrating career development with overall human development and makes a contribution toward offering a perspective for integrating social factors and personality development with career development” Similarly, Raskin (1985),  (p.268).  in her discussion of the  relationship between identity and career development argues that “the psychological processes used to specify and implement occupational choice are parallel if not identical to those central to the formation of identity  21 (p.30)”. (1957),  Career development theorists such as Super and Tiedernan and O’Hara (1963)  have made claims  that seem to support this idea. For example, they state their interest in both the process and outcome of occupational choice, change, and career development, and seem to rely on general developmental principles to try and account for these factors. They assert that: “individuals develop more clearly defined self—concepts as they grow older.. .people develop images of the occupational world that they compare with their self-image in trying to make career decisions.  .  .the adequacy of the  eventual career decision is based on the similarity between the individual’s self-concept and the vocational concept of the career s/he[sic] eventually chooses” (Osipow,  1973, p.10). Only recently however, have  theoreticians made arguments for the actual integration of career development theory into the mainstream of contemporary developmental psychology (e.g., Grotevant & Cooper,  1985; Harmon & Farmer,  1983; Super,  1980).  Studies Based on Marcia’s Theory As described earlier,  in validating Erikson’s  construct of ego identity, Marcia (1966)  derived four  identity statuses, each a pattern of coping with the adolescent identity crisis: Moratorium,  Identity Achievement,  Foreclosure, and Identity Diffusion.  Individual status is based on the interaction of two  22 variables:  exploration (the questioning of parentally and commitment  defined goals and values),  of personal goals and values).  (the selection  This classification system  has generated considerable research which has indicated that there are both individual and developmental differences in ego identity statuses on constructs such as self-esteem,  difficulty of college major, authoritarianism,  (Marcia & Friedman,  and anxiety  1970),  changes in occupational and vocational choices throughout college  (Waterman,  1974), moral reasoning and development 1979),  1972; Rowe & Marcia, pressure  (Toder & Marcia,  (Donovan,  cognitive style  1972),  (Waterman & Waterman,  1975,  resistance to conformity  1973),  cited in Raskin,  interpersonal style 1985),  self-concept,  parental identifications, peer group relations, defense mechanisms & Whitbourne,  (Josselson,  (Adams, Abraham & Markstrom, regression  (Marcia,  1973),  androgyny  self—consciousness,  1982),  (Podd,  1987),  and (Waterman  and self—focusing  and adaptive  1991). On the whole, Marcia’s ego  identity status paradigm has been the most popular operationalization of Erikson’s concepts,  employed by  researchers of over 100 journal articles and dissertations (Cote & Levine,  1988).  Extensive reviews of the empirical  literature are provided by Bourne and Waterman,  (1978), Marcia,  (1980),  (1982).  Although Marcia’s work has inspired a great deal of  23 research,  it has also been criticized on the basis that it  oversimplifies and does not validly represent Erikson’s views  (Cote & Levine,  1988). Cote and Levine point out  that research inspired by Marcia’s work has focused almost exclusively on a psychological perspective and that it has led to a corresponding neglect of Erikson’s view that identity development occurs as a consequence of the interplay between sociological, historical, and psychological factors.  In spite of this criticism however,  Marcia’s paradigm has been strongly defended (Waterman, 1985). As a result it has continued as the principal vehicle used by researchers in the study of identity development (Vondracek,  1992).  An additional concern directed at the identity status paradigm and its components involves the nature of the Foreclosure status. Do Foreclosed persons, who have made commitments to goals and beliefs, yet have not encountered an identity crisis,  in fact, have an identity? In the  literature on identity status, exploration,  individuation and personal  or crisis, are generally seen as the  hallmarks of advanced identity formation (identity status is defined as such in the current paper). This emphasis has extended to the negative appraisal of Foreclosure as an identity option (Marcia, however,  1980). Roe and Marcia  assert that in order to be functional,  (1980),  an  identity does not necessarily have to be an achieved one.  24 Following this argument then,  forclosed individuals do  have an identity--a Foreclosed identity. The content and strength of the Foreclosed person’s commitments may be the same as those of an identity achieved individual; what is different is the process by which they were developed (Waterman,  1985).  Some families or cultures,  may not encourage identity crises clear,  for example,  (e.g., when there exists  specific, social or familial expectations for  conformity to traditional goals, values, and beliefs),  so  a Forclosed identity may be the most adaptive solution (Marcia, personal communication, cited in Bilsker,  1992,  suggests the term “structural foreclosure” to describe individuals who never make the transition into the Moratorium and Achieved statuses). Going through the decision making process necessary to achieve an identity can be a painful and unrewarding experience if no social support is given for undergoing the crisis. Nonetheless, Erikson (1968)  suggests that life crises make important  contributions (either progressively or regressively) to one’s identity. Roe and Marcia  (1980)  suggest that the  Foreclosed identity represents a different level of psychosocial maturity, for it may become dysfunctional if the Foreclosed person’s social props are removed (for example,  if one leaves a society or culture that supports  a Foreclosed identity for another).  Further, that  foreclosed persons have not completed the process of self—  25 definition  (achieved through exploration and  introspection)  that is necessary to reach a more “mature”  identity. For these reasons, the Foreclosed identity, although an identity in itself,  is considered to be less  stable and less advanced than the Achieved identity (Adams et al.,  1987).  In attempt to avoid such confusion,  some  identity researchers have elected to focus instead on the exploratory nature of identity (e.g., the process of questioning different career alternatives)  since many  adolescents do not seem to experience this period as a crisis, or critical turning point in their lives (Grotevant & Cooper,  1986).  As suggested earlier,  little attention has been paid  to incorporating the ego identity status paradigm into career development theory and vice versa.  Some empirical  research has revealed, however, that variations in ego identity are associated with the attainment of a crystallized vocational identity (Grotevant & Thorbecke, 1982),  and other work-related behaviours  Nonetheless,  (Larkin,  1987).  those articles that have attempted to link  the two areas have also been criticized for their tendency to use global measures of identity that do not differentiate between the various identity statuses Munley,  1975).  (e.g.,  Furthermore, those who have incorporated  the different ego identity statuses have used interviews or semiprojective measures (e.g., Grotevant & Thorbecke,  26 1982)--some conceptual and methodological problems with interview—based measures will be described in the following section. Two recent studies examining the relationships between the identity formation process and ego identity statuses,  on the one hand,  and various career development  variables on the other, have attempted to alleviate the above noted limitations to some extent by using self— report psychometric measures  (e.g.,  The Extended Objective  Measure of Ego-Identity Status, Bennion & Adams,  1986).  On the basis of a review of the ego identity and career development literatures, Blustein et al.  (1989)  proposed that variability in career exploration and commitment might be related to characteristic differences in the manner by which individuals explore and commit to their ego identity in late adolescence. To test propositions about the relations between career development and identity formation, measures of ego identity status 2,  (using a self-report measure,  Benriion & Adams,  1986),  the EOMEIS  exploratory activity,  and  occupational commitment were administered to 99 college students.  They found that exploratory activity in the  vocational domain is related to the more far—reaching exploration that characterizes the Moratorium and Identity Achieved statuses, Diffusion status.  and is inversely associated with the They concluded that individuals who are  27 engaged in environmental and self—exploration also tend to be involved in a broader process of seeking out information relating to various dimensions of their identities. A strong relationship between exploratory activity and the Identity Achieved status was also found in this study,  suggesting that individuals who have  attained a coherent ego identity also tend to report exploratory activity. An additional finding suggests an “expected” relationship between occupational commitment and the Foreclosure status. Blustein and Phillips  (1990)  examined the proposition  that individual decision making styles may be related to the characteristic manner that persons use to gain their ego identity in adolescence. Two studies were thus conducted to identify the relations between ego identity statuses and decision-making styles. In the first study, 99 subjects completed the EOMEIS-2 & Adams,  1986)  (Bennion  and a measurement of decision—making  styles. They found that persons in the Identity Achievement status tend to rely on rational decision making  (planful and systematic; relying on one’s self to  resolve decisions)  and that the Foreclosed status is  associated with the dependent decision making style (relying on others to resolve decisions). This finding suggests that rational decision making may be reflective of the autonomous exploration and commitment that is  28 associated with an adaptive formation of an ego identity, and that a reliance on dependent decision making may be a manifestation of an overall tendency to adopt one’s parental values and attitudes (which is characteristic of Foreclosed persons) In their second study Blustein and Phillips  (1990)  had 64 student subjects complete the EOMEIS-2 and a second decision—making inventory. They again found a strong relation between identity achievement and logical, systematic decision making.  Similarly,  Foreclosure and  diffusion statuses were related to an absence of systematic information-gathering activities  (consistent  with Marcia’s theory, and their results in study 1). These authors also found an age influence suggesting that older students are more likely to use systematic decision making styles. Taken as a whole, Blustein and Phillips provide empirical support for the position that differences in decision making styles may be tied to a developmental process of exploring and committing to one’s ego identity in late adolescence. Consistent with theoretical suggestions in vocational psychology and adolescent development  (e.g., Harmon & Farmer,  1983), the  characteristic way in which persons resolve the identity versus identity diffusion psychosocial task seems to be related to decision—making strategies in a relatively predictable fashion.  29 Blustein and Phillips  (1990)  suggest that the results  of these two studies offer some useful insights about the nature of differences in decision making, particularly in light of the study described earlier by Blustein et al. (1989).  The assumptions that those in the Identity  Achievement status tend to use planful,  self—reflective  decision strategies (Blustein & Phillips,  1990), and that  they are likely to be actively engaged in career exploration (Blustein et al.,  1989),  indicate that these  persons tend to approach career decisions with careful deliberation. Likewise, the relation between the Foreclosure status and the dependent decision making style suggests that the adoption of one’s parental attitudes in the identity formation process has a harmful influence on one’s ability to make autonomous decisions. In summary,  it is apparent that the relative absence  of research integrating the theoretical concepts of the identity formation (e.g., the identity status paradigm) and career development processes is now being recognized. However,  some empirical research does exist that supports  the belief that career development theorists and identity theorists are interested in very similar phenomena. Unfortunately, much of this support has been criticized for the use of interviews over self—report measures in assessing identity status.  30 Assessment of identity status. The most widely used method of assessing identity status is Marcia’s (Shulkin,  (1966)  Identity Status Interview  1990). This semi-structured interview takes  approximately 30-40 minutes to administer. Interview transcripts are usually coded by two or three judges using a scoring manual that provides criteria for crisis, commitment,  Identity Achievement, Moratorium,  Foreclosure,  and Diffusion with respect to each of the content areas (occupational, religious, political, and philosophical ideology). After rating each area separately, the interview as a whole is assigned an overall identity status. According to Bourne’s (1978)  review of the  research on ego identity, overall identity status ratings are agreed upon by two out of three judges approximately 80% of the time. (1976)  In his review of the literature, Marcia  states that interjudge reliabilites range from 72%-  90%. According to Bourne (1978), reliability ratings for the three content areas are rarely published. Although it may provide rich descriptive data, the Identity Status Interview is generally recognized to have methodological limitations. In her methodological review, Raskin (1984)  concludes that the variety and scope of the  scoring procedures used limits the generalizability of results and also calls into question the extent to which the results are a function of error variance.  For example,  31 she cites inconsistencies in the procedures by which judges are trained and in the scoring methods they are trained to use. Training periods have reportedly ranged from 3 to 45 hours,  scoring materials may be either  written transcripts or audiotapes, and the methods used to assign an aggregate identity status on the basis of the different content areas are rarely reported.  In those  cases where judges disagree on an aggregate identity status rating, numerous methods have been used to resolve scoring differences, and those are often unreported as well. Other methodological problems include the fact that the length of time needed to individually administer the interview precludes testing large sample sizes, reducing the generalizability of the results and precluding retesting. As a result, test-retest reliability is unknown (Bourne,  1978). Bourne also raises the possibility that  the assignment of an identity status rating could be confounded with. a subject’s verbal expressivity. Individuals who are highly articulate could be classified as Identity Achievers more often because they are more adept at describing their feelings.  In contrast,  individuals who are less articulate might be more likely to be classified as Identity Moratoriums or Diffusions. The identity status interview has been revised and elaborated to permit separate ratings of exploration and  32 commitment (Matteson,  1977).  In addition, recent theory  and research regarding the importance of interpersonal relationships in identity formation have led to the inclusion of additional content areas of friendship, dating,  and sex roles  (Grotevant, Thorbecke & Meyer,  1982) In attempt to circumvent many of the problems inherent in the use of the Identity Status Interview, Adams,  Shea,  and Fitch (1979)  developed a written self—  report instrument based on Marcia’s theory.  (1966)  identity status  It is designed to be quickly and easily  administered, thus permitting the use of larger sample sizes. The instrument is objectively scored on the basis of self—report items and therefore doesn’t depend on coder inferences of interviewees’ responses. The measure has well—established estimates of reliability, consistency,  internal  and various forms of validity. Further, the  revised version of the test, the EOMEIS-2  (incorporating  Marcia’s inclusion of an interpersonal domain to the identity status paradigm, Bennion & Adams,  1986),  is  reported to also have no relationship with the Crowne— Marlowe Social Desirability Scale, responses by respondents.  indicating honesty in  In addition, while retaining the  use of the four categorical statuses of Achievement, Moratorium, Foreclosure, and Diffusion, this self—report instrument also yields raw scores on each subscale in the  33 form of a continuous rating (Bennion & Adams,  1986).  This  final feature would allow for investigations requiring correlational analyses  (Shulkin,  1990).  To date, the EOMEIS-2 and its earlier counterparts have been used in a wide range of investigations testing Marcia’s  (1966)  theory, however, only the two recent  studies by Blustein et al. Phillips  (1990)  (1989)  and Blustein and  have attempted to circumvent the  limitations inherent in the use of the interview,  in  addressing identity status and career development variables. The current investigation will thus support the use of the EOMEIS-2 as the most effective measure of ego identity status given its advantages as noted above. Gender differences in identity status. It has been claimed that Erikson’s theory and the identity status constructs developed by Marcia  (1966)  are  more applicable to the understanding of late adolescent males than of females argues,  (Gilligan,  1982). Gilligan (1982)  for example, that male and female constructions of  the nature of reality are very different——that because early social environments are experienced differently by male and female children, basic differences recur in personality development.  So, where female adolescents are  thought to be primarily involved with interpersonal developmental concerns, much of the work on identity has focused on such individuation concerns as vocational  34 choice and ideological beliefs, areas presumed to be of more salience to males (Waterman,  1985). As such,  Erikson’s theory has been criticized for ignoring relational issues of self—development——it fails to represent the interdependence of adult life  (Gilligan,  1987). Recent articles are attempting to address this issue through supporting the belief that both individuality (autonomy)  and connectedness  (intimacy)  are  important in the process of identity formation (e.g., Weinmann & Newcombe, et al.,  1983).  1991; Campbell et al.,  1984; Cooper  Further, they recognize that identity  issues cannot be considered in isolation from other psychosocial issues,  such as the development of intimacy.  The study of sex differences in identity development has produced varied and conflicting results.  Some recent  research has indicated, for example, that females reach a more advanced identity status  (e.g.,  Identity Achieved)  earlier than most males, possibly due to the earlier onset of puberty (Grotevant & Adams, (1986,  cited in Adams et al.,  1984).  Fregeau and Barker  1989), however,  found that  females scored consistently higher on the Moratorium and Diffused subscales.  In support of Gilligan’s  (1982)  ideas,  further research has suggested that generally speaking, late adolescent males tend to be focussed more on occupational identity issues and that females have a more clearly defined sense of interpersonal identity  35 (Grotevant,  1983).  It has thus been suggested that males  deal with vocational and relationship issues sequentially, whereas females deal with them simultaneously (Gilligan, 1982; Grotevant & Thorbecke, (1987)  1982). Nonetheless, Gilligan  argues that an accurate assessment of gender  differences cannot be undertaken until female development is better understood. With regard to gender bias inherent in the EONEIS-2, Adams et al.  (1989)  report that most of the studies using  this measure report no significant gender differences between identity statuses. This finding is likely due to the measure’s distinction between ideological identity, which includes occupational, religious, political, and philosophical life-style values, goals and standards,  and  interpersonal identity, which incorporates aspects of friendship, dating,  sex roles and recreational choices.  Taken as a whole, research indicates that variability in the ego identity statuses does not appear to be associated with gender differences Bennion & Adams,  1986; Waterman,  (Blustein et al.,  1989;  1985). Despite the  finding of fairly inconclusive results, however, the possibility of gender differences is deemed an important point to address in the current investigation as research that has been done in the area of family influence below)  does report gender based differences.  (cited  36 Family Influence Variables As mentioned previously, the study of identity formation with respect to identity status differences has tended to remain isolated from other literature addressing adolescent career development. The identity literature has thus developed fairly independently from recent studies that have dealt with familial contributions to career development family,  (Grotevant & Cooper,  1988).  So,  although the  or one’s parents, have been found to have a  significant influence on both identity formation and career development processes of adolescents, there has been little attempt to integrate the two fields of research. Recent research has, however,  suggested that  identity researchers and career development researchers are interested in very similar phenomena  (Blustein et al.,  1989) Studies on Identity Status Several investigations have focused on the study of social—environmental contexts that facilitate or retard identity formation development. Familial or parental behaviours,  for example, have been found to have a  significant influence. In his review of the literature, Waterman (1982)  describes several antecedent conditions  relating to or influencing the identity formation process. Among these are: 1. The greater the identification with parents prior  37 to or during adolescence, the greater the likelihood will be of forming and maintaining personally meaningful commitments. With strong identification, entrance into, and maintenance of, the Foreclosure status appears most probable. 2. Differences in parenting styles cited in Waterman,  1964,  1982) will be reflected in differences  in pathways of identity formation. permissive,  (Becker,  Individuals with  neglecting, or rejecting parents may be  expected most frequently to be Identity Diffuse and to have difficulty in successfully resolving identity crises should they occur. Those from authoritarian families may take either of two quite divergent paths, becoming Foreclosed on parental choices or rebelling and going through an identity crisis. The former should be more common under circumstances where an adolescent is able to earn parental respect, whereas the latter should more frequently occur where parental approval cannot be gained. A protective parenting style may expect to yield an outcome characterized either by insecurity (Identity Diffusion)  or by conformity (Foreclosure).  Finally,  democratic parenting should be relatively conducive to the consideration of identity alternatives and the forming of personal commitments  (Identity Achievement). Presence in  the Foreclosure status may also be expected where any early decisions are functional for the adolescent and meet  38 with parental support. 3. The greater the range of identity alternatives to which the individual is exposed prior to or during adolescence,  the greater the likelihood will be of  undergoing an identity crisis. Thus, homogeneous communities may be conducive to the forming and maintaining of foreclosure commitments, whereas more heterogeneous communities may serve to facilitate the entrance into an identity crisis. 4. The nature of the social expectations pertaining to identity choices arising within the family,  the  schools, and the peer group will contribute to the identity development pathways employed. Where one is exposed to social groups that seldom question received authority,  an identity crisis would appear less probable  than among groups where questioning is more common and even encouraged. Waterman’s (1982)  ideas, as they relate to the  influence of families—-specifically parents, on the identity formation of their children, have received considerable support in the literature (reviews of such literature are provided in Waterman, 1982).  1985,  and Waterman,  In his exploration of the family’s role in the  facilitation of identity formation in adolescence, Grotevant  (1983),  for example, argues that adolescents  whose parents are sensitive to their needs for increased  39 autonomy promote exploration through granting these adolescents the freedom to seek exposure to diverse models and options.  The information the adolescent obtains in  such encounters enables the synthesis of his or her own sense of personal identity, and provides an arena peers,  for example)  (through  to receive feedback on new roles and  identities they might be trying on. Adams et al.  (1989)  suggest that moderate amounts of  conflict and disparate views on parent—adolescent relationships can set the stage for an adolescent search for alternatives as the teenager disagrees with his/her parents’ views. This searching process theoretically leads to more psychosocially advanced identity statuses. Conversely, that families that are highly cohesive may discourage exploration, thus inhibiting identity development. Cushing (1971, cited in Grotevant,  1983)  administered  Marcia’s interview and Incomplete Sentence Blank along with a measure of parental behaviour to 147 male college upperclassmen. Results showed that parents of Foreclosed adolescents tended to be seen in a very positive light—— accepting and positively involved, yet somewhat controlling and possessing. Foreclosed individuals reported feeling very close to their parents. Parents of Diffused adolescents were perceived to have a very different style: mothers were least possessive and  40 intrusive; fathers were least accepting and were high in rejection and withdrawal. Mothers of Moratorium adolescents were seen as intrusive, controlling, inconsistent, and rejecting. Fathers were moderately positively involved and were seen as moderately high in both acceptance and rejection. Mothers of Identity Achievers were seen as moderately accepting and positively involved.  Fathers of Identity Achievers were seen as  moderate in involvement but low in acceptance. The use of an exclusively male sample in this study, however,  limits  the generalizability of the noted findings. LaVoie  (1976)  also studied perceptions of the family  identity, and discovered some important gender differences. He administered Marcia’s Incomplete Sentence Blank and an 18—item questionnaire concerning perceptions of parents’ warmth,  concern, punishment, and consistency  displayed to them when they were children,  to 120 students  of both sexes. Males scoring high in identity reported less control by both parents and more praise by fathers than those male subjects scoring low. High scoring females reported less maternal restrictions and greater freedom to discuss problems with both parents than low scoring females. In a more recent study of female identity in a rural high school sample, Adams and Jones  (1983)  examined the  relation between identity status, as measured by the  41 Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (Adams, Fitch,  1979)  Shea &  and perceived parental socialization styles  at the time of the research. Analyses indicated that identity exploration (as indicated by the Identity Achieved and Moratorium statuses) was associated with perceptions of low maternal control.  Identity Achievement  was also associated with a moderate rating of maternal encouragement of independence.  In addition,  Identity  Achieved females felt that their fathers’ punishment was more fair than did females with other identity statuses. Cooper,  Grotevant and Condon (1984)  investigated  family process correlates of identity exploration (see also Grotevant & Cooper,  1985; Grotevant & Cooper,  1986).  They hypothesized that certain dimensions of family communication would be related to adolescents’ formation:  identity  self—assertion, which involved clear, direct  statements of individuals’ points of views; separateness, or expressions of how the individual differs from others; permeability, which included communication behaviours indicative of openness to the viewpoints of other; and mutuality, which included behaviours that indicated sensitivity to the needs of others in communication. Identity exploration itself was assessed by summing the ratings of exploration made through Marcia’s interview procedure. These investigators found that both male and female  42 identity exploration ratings were positively  adolescents’  related to father’s expressions of mutuality (especially through initiating compromises and stating the feelings of the other).  In addition, adolescents who had high identity  exploration ratings tended to have fathers who were willing to express separateness  (through disagreements) to  This pattern suggested to the authors that  their wives.  the father’s openness to the adolescent and his freedom to express differences of opinion to his wife created a context conducive to his adolescent’s identity exploration. With regard to maternal communication behaviours,  those indicative of permeability were found to  be negatively correlated with identity exploration. Adolescents whose interviews were rated as high in exploration expressed higher levels of both separateness Cooper et al.  (through disagreements)  and permeability.  (1984) note this pattern as being consistent  with Erikson’s view of identity: expressions of separateness demonstrate the adolescent’s ability to define a sense of self as distinctive from others; permeability facilitates the adolescent’s access to various sources of information which will become integrated into a sense of identity. Recent research is now suggesting that both independence from and connectedness with one’s parents are important in identity development. Pipp,  Shaver, Jennings,  43 Lamborn, and Fischer  (1985),  for example,  examined  adolescents’ perceptions of their relationships with parents from infancy through to the time of the study. They found that adolescents reported linear trends of increasing dominance, responsibility,  independence,  and  similarity in their relationships with their parents. With regard to emotional closeness, the adolescents reported a steady decline in the amount of emotional closeness perceived in the relationship from infancy through early and then indicated a sudden large increase in  adolescence,  the amount of closeness in late adolescence. These findings are explained by Pipp et al.  (1985)  as the  adolescents interpreting their relationships with parents in such a way as to allow for the maintenance of closeness in the face of increasing independence. These findings indicate that both increasing independence and connectedness may be important in adolescent development, however, these authors did not include a measure of identity status in their study. Weinmann and Newcombe (1990)  similarly argue that  current identity status influences the adolescent’s perceptions of his or her relationship to parents. More specifically,  they posited that the establishment of a  stable sense of self, commitment,  in the form of an identity  is the developmental transition necessary for  a perception of increased closeness in the  44 adolescent/parent relationship. They thus administered the EOMEIS  (Bennion & Adams,  1986)  to 100 male and female  undergraduates, along with a second questionnaire (Pipp et al.,  1985) measuring six dimensions of parental  relationships across five age periods. These dimensions are love,  responsibility, dominance,  independence,  similarity,  and friendship. Their findings offered  support for patterns of increasing dominance, and responsibility by adolescents for parents, described by Pipp et al.  (1985).  independence as  Further, that adolescents  who had made identity commitments perceived a greater amount of love towards their parents than those who had not made commitments. Their results seem to support the proposition that identity commitments are important for feelings of intimacy in the adolescent-parent relationship for both male and female adolescents.  These authors found  no gender differences in identity status ratings. Campbell, Adams and Dobson  (1984)  asked 286 students  to respond to both the perceived relationship with their mother and that with their father through the administration of an identity status measure (the OM-EIS; Adams,  Shea & Fitch,  1979)  and a parent-adolescent  relation questionnaire. They found that a combination of strong emotional attachment, and relatively speaking,  a  lower level of independence were the major ingredients in the family dynamics of the home that distinguished  45 Foreclosed from Identity-Achieved youth (both statuses however, were found to be strongly bonded to their parents).  Conversely, while Identity Achieved youths  perceived themselves as highly attached to their mother, they also perceived greater independence from both of their parents. Similarly, Moratorium youths perceived relatively high levels of emotional attachment to their parents, but,  like Identity Achieved youths, reported a  greater sense of independence from the family. Diffused youths were found to be the least emotionally attached to their parents. The studies reviewed in this section provide evidence for the role of family interaction in adolescent psychosocial development. While earlier research has tended to focus on the importance of separation/individuation in identity development, more recent articles are suggesting that adolescent development may be viewed in terms of a transformation of the adolescent—parent relationship, as opposed to the breaking of the bond between parent and child. They thus converge on the conclusion that both connectedness support, cohesiveness, and acceptance)  (indicated by  and individuality  (indicated by disagreements, for example)  in family  interaction are both related to identity formation in adolescence. On the whole,  it appears,  for example, that  those adolescents high in identity exploration (both  46 Moratorium and Identity Achieved statuses)  tend to  perceive positive involvement in their families and experience active engagement in interaction. Further, affectional ties with mother and independence from father appear to be family relationship correlates associated with establishing a moratorium or identity achieved status during late adolescence (Campbell, Adams & Dobson, Grotevant  (1983)  1984).  however, notes a difficulty arising in  studies examining the correlates of identity status (including family styles and personality variables),  in  that identity status is not a stable trait. Rather, during late adolescence an individual may pass through several identity statuses  (Waterman,  1982). Consequently, the  relation between the correlated variable under study and identity status depends in part on when the “snapshot” of the adolescent was taken (Grotevant,  1983). Another issue  in studies of the family and identity formation is that both adolescents and their parents are continually changing and the parent—adolescent relationship is a dynamic one. Again, results of studies would likely vary depending on the particular point in time adolescents and/or their parents are asked to participate. Both of these limitations are noted in the current study as well. Studies on Career Development The family has traditionally been thought of as an important influence on the career development of children  47 (Young et al.,  in press). More specifically, the issue of  how parents influence their children’s lives and careers has received considerable attention in the literature over Blustein, Waibridge,  (e.g.,  the years Palladino,  1991; Grotevant & Cooper,  Siegelman,  1964).  social class  employment levels  (Goodale & Hall,  & Crouter,  1979),  parental support  1976), maternal  1976), parental modelling,  egalitarian parenting styles  (see review by Schulenberg,  1984), parental power  1975; Ridgeway,  1978)  (Lavine,  (Hocks & Curry,  and identification with parents Oliver,  1988; Roe &  1971), parental education  (Almquist & Angrist,  (Goodale & Hall,  Vondracek,  &  Contextual variables such as parental  (Rehberg & Hotchkiss,  and encouragement  Friedlander,  1982)  1983;  have been considered.  Thorough reviews of this literature are provided by Schulenberg,  Vondracek,  Lerner and Schulenberg  and Crouter (1984), (1986).  and Vondracek,  Taken as a whole, the  findings of these studies demonstrate the potential influence of parents on the career development of their children. More recent research is now dealing with the relationship between family interaction and adolescent career development. Results of these investigations are indicating that family members’ perceptions of whole family unit interaction explain variance in career identity  (e.g.,  Penick & Jepsen,  1992).  Collin and Young  48 (1986)  assert that this systemic perspective is useful in  the study of career in that “it conceptualizes the nature of the person’s environment,  its influence on the person,  the person’s response to it, and the internal and external adjustments which flow from this response” (p.  845).  In other words, the influence of parents on  career development of their children could be understood from a perspective in which the interaction between the developing person and the environment (e.g., one’s parents)  is central.  Grotevant and Cooper (1988)  agree that the family and  individual should not be considered separately in considering effects on the career development process. Rather,  individual development may only be understood in  terms of the constant interactions between the developing person and the changing environment. They thus present a perspective on the family’s role in the career exploration and development of its adolescents and young adults, drawing upon the career development,  identity formation,  and socialization literatures. They support the arguments stated in an earlier section of this paper that assert that although career development has been assessed as one domain of identity formation since Marcia’s  (1966) work  was first published, no one has adequately explored the potentially rich links between career development and identity formation literatures. Further, neither career  49 development theories nor identity formation theories have placed great emphasis on the contexts in which development (e.g., one’s family), as both are focused more  occurs  clearly on the outcomes of development (e.g., career choice)  .  The danger here then, has been that research has  been conducted under the premise that career development and identity formation proceed in a uniform manner for all adolescents regardless of context, or other psychological resources.  Grotevant and Cooper (1988)  argue that there  are several relevant contexts for career development——the family is one of the most influential. This assertion is in accordance with the identity research cited earlier that argues that the family continues to serve as an important context for individual development throughout adolescence into young adulthood. Grotevant and Cooper (1988)  argue that most accounts  of career development appear to assume that the process of career exploration is experienced by all adolescents. However,  family values about decision making,  for example,  may constrain or facilitate the decision making process. Also,  security in family relationships can promote  competence by freeing the child to become engaged with worlds outside the family,  including the domains of peer  relationships and career choices. Grotevant and Cooper (1988)  also emphasize both connectedness and individuation  from the family as important for the exploration of career  50 alternatives. These same three factors  (security in family  relationships; individuality and connectedness) were also cited earlier as being valuable in facilitating the exploration of alternatives for the development of a secure personal identity. Blustein et al.  (1991)  administered measures of  parental attachment, psychological separation, and vocational exploration and commitment to 178 male and female undergraduates. They found that progress in committing to career choices occurred most readily for those persons who experienced both independence from and attachment to their parents. This result supports the findings suggested earlier in the identity formation domain  (e.g., Grotevant & Cooper,  1985)  regarding the  necessity of considering both individuality and connectedness in the development of adolescents and young adults. The results of some empirical investigations of family influence variables on the career development process seem to indicate the possibility of the adolescents’  identity status coming into play.  Hartman, and Hartman (1987), for example,  Eigen,  studied the  relationship between family interaction patterns and career indecision in a sample of 205 senior high school students. They found that family interactions that fostered early, stable decision making were characterized  51 by a flexible structure accompanied by strong emotional attachments,  or else a more authoritarian structure  accompanied by an emotional-bonding pattern that permits individual freedom. This connection between strong emotional attachments and early,  stable decision—making  seems characteristic of the perceived influence of parents on individuals in a Foreclosed identity status.  Further,  the association between decision—making and emotional bonding that permits individual freedom would seem to be indicative of how parental influence is perceived by individuals in the Identity Achieved status. The issue of identity, however, was not considered in this study. In summary,  current research has shown the family  system to be an important context for one’s development throughout adolescence and at least into young adulthood (Grotevant & Cooper,  1988). Parental influence has thus  become an essential element of identifying the many factors that influence career decision making. A number of investigators have identified the late adolescent and young adult years as important for the continued evolution of relationships with parents. The research cited here has supported the notion that these relationships are tied to both the career development and identity formation of the young person, however, empirically, the two developmental processes themselves (career development and identity formation), are only just  52 beginning to be linked. The current investigation therefore looks at perceived parental influence on career development as a possible indicator of one’s progress of identity formation in attempt to bring together these two theoretical fields. A Narrative Aiproach to Understanding Parental Influence Stories seem to be the natural way to recount experience. They are a product of narrative thought (Robinson & Hawpe,  1986), meaning that they are a method  of organizing and recording social and personal events in attempt to make one’s life intelligible (Keen,  1986).  They  are, then, a way of understanding everyday life and can be applied to virtually anything in our life--any person or incident in the past, present, or future Hawpe,  1986).  Thus, narratives are personal  dependent on who does the storytelling), the feelings, create them.  (Robinson & (largely  and incorporate  goals, needs, and values of the people who In short, they attempt to give meaning to  human experience  (Robinson & Hawpe,  1986)  through  establishing a relationship between a person’s past experiences and his or her engagements in the here—and— now. Elsbree  (1982)  recognizes storytelling or narrative  thinking as a part of everyday life: We not only borrow other people’s and culture’s basic plots and stories and adapt them to our  53 purposes; we resort to stories as ultimate kinds of personal evidence. When we really want to explain why we married or got divorced,  left a job or chose  a school, accepted a faith or became sceptical, we tell a story or series of stories. After our abstractions and generalities have failed to convince or to be clear, we recite the parable of our personal experience (p. Sarbin  12)  (1986) treats the narrative as an “organizing  principle for human action.” He proposes that human beings think, perceive,  imagine, and make moral choices according  to narrative structures. Our dreams, daydreams,  fantasies,  and  for example, are experienced as stories. The  narrative, then,  is a way of organizing episodes,  actions,  and accounts of actions; it allows actors to give reasons for their acts, as well as the causes of happening. Robinson (1990) human conduct”  illustrates the “storied nature of  (Sarbin,  1986)  through analyzing written,  personal accounts of the lives of people with multiple sclerosis. He demonstrates that a clear feature of personal accounts or stories in either written or oral form is their temporal structure——”.. .the recounting of related events  (in this case illness experiences)  in  temporal sequence together with some element of finale” (p.  1173). The narratives created indicated the importance  of the quest for meaning and particularly for mastery over  54 the unpredictable physical course of the disease. Maclntyre (1981)  also makes a strong case for  considering the narrative as central to the understanding of human conduct. He believes narratives, or stories are useful in understanding the actions of others and oneself in relation to others: In successfully identifying and understanding what someone else is doing we always move toward placing a particular episode in the context of a set of narrative histories, histories both of the individuals concerned and of the settings in which they act and suffer. It is now becoming clear that we render the actions of others intelligible in this way because action itself has a basically historical character. It is because we all live out narratives in our lives and because we understand our own lives in terms of the narratives that we live out that the form of narrative is appropriate for understanding the actions of others.  Stories  are lived before they are told-—except in the case of fiction.  (p.  197)  Robinson and Hawpe (1986)  suggest that experience  does not always assume narrative form. Rather: It is in reflecting on experience that we construct stories. The stories we make are accounts, to explain and understand experience.  .  attempts  .when it is  55 successful, the outcome of story making is a coherent and plausible account of how and why something happened. Taylor  (1989)  considers the theme of how we have  become who we are, or influences in our lives,  and its  relation to narrative: .making sense of one’s life as a story is  .  .  .not  an optional extra; that our lives exist in this space of questions that only a coherent narrative can answer.  In order to have a sense of who we are,  we have to have a notion of how we have become and where we are going.  (p. 47)  The research and theory described this far lends support to the notion of narrative as a means of “rendering one’s actions sensible” to oneself. Although the current investigation follows this belief by using a narrative approach to address the domain of parental influence,  it does not so much deal with the “how” and  “why” of past experiences (with parents)  and their  subsequent influence on the current functioning of young adults. Rather, the emphasis is placed to a greater extent on the resulting stories themselves.  In a sense then,  is the outcome of narrative thinking as opposed to the process itself that is being examined here.  It is how  individual narratives or plots are structured,  and how  one’s identity status may influence how they are  it  56 structured that is being considered. The issue of classifying plots, or narratives, has been addressed by a number of writers. White example, has suggested tragedy,  comedy,  (1973),  romance,  for  and  satire. Northrup Frye (1957) has provided a more elaborate theoretical summary of narrative forms. He describes four basic forms of narrative related to the cyclical changes of the seasons. Gergen and Gergen (1986)  suggest that the most  essential ingredient of narrative accounting (or storytelling)  is its capacity to structure events in such  a way that they demonstrate, coherence,  first, a connectedness or  and second, a sense of movement or direction  through time.  So, to succeed as a narrative,  the account  must first establish a goal state or valued endpoint. With the creation of the goal condition, the successful narrative must then select and arrange relevant events in such a way that the goals state is rendered more or less probable. Gergen and Gergen (1986)  thus view narrative as  a guide to account for human actions across time make ourselves intelligible to each other).  (e.g., to  In outlining  their model of narrative structure, they argue that there can only be three prototypical narratives forms: those in which progress toward a goal is enhanced (progressive narrative), those in which it is impeded (regressive narrative), and those in which no change occurs  (stability  57 narrative) Stable personal narratives are the most ‘unstory like’  in the sense that “lives are narratively constructed  as a series of events or experiences, rather than personal or social time,  located in literal, in which  ‘valued  personal goals’ are not easily ascertainable, and in which the linkage between events and experiences is understated” (Robinson,  1990). Progressive personal narratives,  on the  other hand, may follow many different narrative paths. However, their essence is of a positive construction of events and experiences in terms of personal goals——such as careers or personal relationships. These narratives likely show an essence of reassertion of personal control (Robinson,  1990). Regressive narratives are those which  present a story of continual and increasing discrepancy between ‘valued personal goals’ and the possibility of their attainment. The three basic narrative types as proposed by Gergen and Gergen  (1986), may be considered bases for more  complex variants. Robinson (1990),  for example, classified  written accounts of personal narratives of individuals with multiple sclerosis following this framework. Variants of the progressive narrative were discovered. The most dramatically engaging progressive narratives, were designated as heroic.  for example,  In these, progression towards  life goals had not been overturned by the potentially  58 personally and socially damaging effects of the illness. In detective stories, another type of progressive narrative,  life is perceived as a mystery——at points an  adventure,  in which the skills of the narrator are made  explicit. A detached documentary narrative represented a stable narrative type in that events and experiences are documented as though they happened to a third party (a “dictionary of events”). Two types of regressive narratives were labelled the tragic narrative, or stories in which life goals were dramatically interrupted following the onset of the illness, and sad narratives,  in  which experiences were documented as progressively sloping away from life goals.  In sad narratives, narrators never  appeared to express any hope towards progressing toward life goals. Young et al.  (in press),  in their investigation of  narrative retrospective accounts of parental career influence, discovered five variations of Gergen and Gergen’s  (1986)  progressive and regressive narrative  structures in their sample of 50 young adults. Three of these structures represented variations of the progressive narrative.  In the Progressive Narrative with a Dramatic  Turning Point, Young et al.  (in press)  describe the hope  and expectations of the young person being undermined from childhood by what is seen by him or her as poor parenting. The resulting despair and hopelessness of the child  59 continues until there is a dramatic climax or turning point,  Subsequently,  life is reconceptualized as hopeful.  In the Progressive Narrative Within a Positively Evaluated Frame,  a successful outcome is achieved through the  accommodation of the child to the parents’  influence.  There is an explicit lack of rebellion; the parents, their values and way of life are seen as appropriate——often idealized. The Progressive Narrative With Negatively Evaluated Stages involves the young person realizing a valued career or life outcome despite parental influence. The past influence of parents is seen as both positive and negative, however, as the person matured the actions of their parents were seen as often inhibiting their attainment of career and life goals. Gradually, however, the young person is able to win the struggle with his or her parents. The two resulting structures in this study were classified as regressive.  In the Anticipated Regressive  Narrative, the young person’s life is characterized by fate. The main theme is that ultimately there can be no reconciliation between the parent’s influence and the person’s own life course——a negative outcome is considered inevitable.  Finally, Young et al.  (in press)  describe the  Sad Narrative as being one in which the narrator tells his or her life without goals, with little hope of developing them,  and poor self—esteem. There is little sense that  60 things will get better or worse. The narrative types proposed by Young et al. press)  (in  seem to reflect issues of identity status as  proposed by Marcia  (1966). The progressive narrative with  a dramatic turning point and the progressive narrative with negatively evaluated stages,  for example,  sound like  stories that would be told by moratorium and identity achieved youth (A. Waterman, personal contact, May 25, 1992).  In both narrative structures,  crisis points or  struggles with the parental system are evident. Waterman (1985)  notes that in the developmental history of identity  achieved youth,  crisis may be comprised of a clearly  defined choice point in time when the person weighed the strengths and weaknesses of different possibilities (dramatic turning point), or for others,  it is evident in  a series of changes in plans or beliefs that have been made over a number of years (negatively evaluated stages). For moratorium youth, their narratives will indicate a current struggle or crisis, however,  like the identity  achieved youth, there is a positive outlook on life and toward the eventual attainment of goals  (however vague  they may be at the current time). The progressive narrative within a positively evaluated frame seems typical of a story that would be told by a foreclosed youth.  In these stories, there is no  mention of a struggle with parental values or attitudes  61 (crisis),  in fact they seem to have been incorporated into  the individuals own goals  (commitment). A strong  identification with parents is evident in these narratives, and the future is evaluated positively. A. Waterman (personal contact, May,  25,  1992)  further  suggests that the two regressive narrative types proposed by Young et al.  (in press) might be expected by identity  diffused youth.  In these stories there are no firm  commitments to any goals, nor is there evidence of any attempt to form them. These individuals appear to take things as they come without any thought to the future. Taken together, Waterman’s 1992) al.  (personal contact, May 25,  suggestions as they relate to the study by Young et  (in press), will be considered in the proposed  investigation. In the current study, narratives will conform to the rules of what Gergen (1988)  suggests constitutes a  “reasonable story”. Narrative construction is said to require,  for example, the establishment of a valued  endpoint or goal toward which the action of the story is directed. A coherent narrative line is then achieved by selecting and ordering events around this endpoint.  So,  all narrative plots may be converted from story form to linear form with respect to their evaluative shifts over time. Gergen (1988) approach is that,  notes that an advantage of this  “subjective appraisals of life events  62 can be converted to dimensions that are quantifiable”. Thus narratives can be compared and combined in a fairly quick and easy manner. There exists considerable support for the use of a narrative approach in dealing with developmental issues. Further, the idea of classifying narrative plots is now being considered a valuable method used in empirical investigation. Nonetheless, the narrative approach itself has been criticized for its retrospective nature. Perceptions of past experiences, for example, rely on recall that may be inaccurate. Countering this argument,  Spence (1982)  introduced  the notion of narrative truth as distinct from historical truth for understanding an individual’s past. He argued that the very notion of understanding the “real” truth is highly problematic--the human mind (memory)  is not  passive; it is always actively interacting with and changing the understanding of its own past.  Further, he  states that since historical facts are few and often ambiguous,  it is narrative truth that brings interpretive  meaning into a person’s life. Other researchers too, have supported this belief. White  (1980)  has characterized historical writing as:  facts do not speak for themselves, but.  .  .  “the  the historian  speaks on their behalf, and fashions the fragments of the past into a whole”  (p.  47). Crites (1986)  similarly argues  63 that the remembered past is situated in relation to the present in which it is recollected. Riessman (1990)  concurs with the argument that  we will never have access to “real truth”,  only a  representation of it that is embedded in narrative.  She  describes narrative retelling as “a near universal form of ordering our worlds allowing us to make connections, thus meaning, by linking past and present,  and  self and  society. Following this belief, she analyzes the narrative of a divorcing woman to show how individuals attach meanings to events in their lives by constructing storied accounts of them.  She details the process her subject  engaged in to realize themes through language, how she organized the narrative she told around her definition of the situation, and how she reconstructed the temporal sequence of events that led to the separation by investing these events with meaning and morality. In summary, narratives can be seen as critical to the ways in which people understand themselves and their lives, past and present, and how their futures might be (Sarbin,  1986; White,  1980).  It is through embedding one’s  actions in narrative form that one’s actions and interactions with others take on meaning; they belong to a person with a certain past, heading in a certain direction,  and with a future that will represent an  extension of this past (Gergen,  1988).  Further, the  64 particular form, or structure that narratives acquire, any person,  for  is an outgrowth of the social relationships in  which one is currently embedded (Gergen & Gergen,  1986).  In the current investigation, narratives provide a way of adding to our understanding of how young people incorporate parental influence into the broader picture of their lives. More specifically, they will provide examples of how young adults construct coherent stories of their goals,  careers, and lives in relation to their families of  origin.  Further, they will provide an opportunity to give  an account of the process of establishing separateness from and/or connectedness with one’s parents——essential ingredients for the necessary exploration of alternatives in the development of a career or personal identity. Finally,  narrative structures will represent a particular  product of the unique social relationship that each person has with his or her parents. It is recognized that narratives structures accounting for perceived parental influence,  like identity  the statuses are not fixed nor static. As individuals go through their life course, different interpretations of parental influence may emerge (Young et al.,  in press).  Narratives recounted here, will thus represent the narrators’  interpretations of their experiences at a  specific point in their lives. Taken as a whole, the research reported in this  65 chapter draws on three major bodies of literature: identity formation,  career development and narrative  psychology. The issue of parental influence is brought in as a common variable whose contribution to both the identity formation and career development of adolescents and young adults has been strongly supported.  In a sense  then, parental influence may represent a way of bridging these two separate fields of research. As the current investigation will be dealing with two developmental processes  (implying a connection between the past, present  and future in the formation of an identity and in the choice of a career), the narrative approach seems a very appropriate method of dealing with how individuals have experienced parental influence in their lives.  So, to  bring these various fields together for the purposes of this investigation,  it is hypothesized that narratives  written about parental influence on career development might actually be reflective of the perceptions of individuals at different stages of identity formation as well.  66  CHAPTER THREE Method  This chapter discusses the parameters of the research and how the study itself was carried out. Demographic information of the subject sample is provided,  as are the  psychometric data of the instrument to be used, and the procedures involved. Sample A sample of subjects from an introductory psychology class of a lower mainland college was recruited for the proposed investigation. A total of 49 individuals, or 21 male and 28 female 18 to 23 year-olds, completed the identity status measure Of the original 49,  (phase 1 of this investigation).  25 subjects agreed to participate in  an interview that dealt with their perceptions of parental influence in their lives. Eleven of twenty-five subjects had scores on the identity status measure that classified them as “pure” identity status types. As “pure” type classification scores were the only scores of interest in the current study, these 11 participants were called in and completed the interviews  (the second phase of this  investigation). This subject group was considered appropriate for the proposed investigation as the general purpose of the study requires investigating an age range of individuals who will likely show variability in their stages of identity  67 formation,  and who will have,  in a sense,  already been  influenced by their parents. Instrumentation Demographic Information Each volunteer was asked to complete a brief demographic questionnaire (Appendix C).  The purposes of  this questionnaire were to ascertain whether the candidate met the criterion for this study,  and also to provide  descriptive information about each participant. While age was the only essential criterion for participation in this study,  additional demographic data contributed to  developing a broader picture of the subjects interviewed. Information was collected about the subject’s age, place of residence, year in school,  gender,  and career goals.  Measurement of Ego Identity Status In order to assess each individual’s progress in resolving the identity versus identity diffusion psychosocial task,  subjects were be administered the  Extended Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status 2; Bennion & Adams,  1986),  (EOMEIS  contained in Appendix D.  The  EOMEIS-2 is a 64-item self-report measure based on the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status Shea & Fitch,  1979).  Both the OMEIS and the revised  version are based on Marcia’s theory.  (OMEIS; Adams  (1966)  identity status  The original OMEIS is an objective measure of the  three content areas assessed by Marcia’s  (1966)  Identity  68 Status Interview: occupation, Adams and Grotevant  (1983)  religion,  and politics.  revised the OMEIS to include an  additional ideological content of philosophical lifestyle, as well as an interpersonal domain which included the content areas of friendship, dating, recreational choices  sex roles,  and  (EOMEIS-1). Bennion and Adams  (1986)  developed the EOMEIS-2, which is similar to the EOMEIS-1 with the exception of the interpersonal items which were revised to improve their reliability and validity. Using a 6-point Likert response format,  respondents  answer items in the ideological content areas of occupation, style,  religion, politics, and philosophical life  and items in the interpersonal content areas of  friendship,  dating,  sex—roles and recreational choices.  Subjects report the presence or absence of a crisis period and commitment in each area. Each of the eight content areas is measured by eight items——two items for each identity status originally delineated by Marcia e.g.,  Achievement, Moratorium,  Diffusion.  Foreclosure,  (1966),  and  Scores on each of the scales provide a measure  of the relative degree of prevalence of a given ego identity status.  Because it was of interest to the current  study to obtain an overall measure of ego—identity status, ideological and interpersonal subscales for each of the identity statuses were combined (cf. Grotevant & Adams, 1984)  69 The EOMEIS-2 has had, earliest counterpart  since the development of its  (OM-EIS; Adams,  Shea & Fitch,  1979),  considerable research efforts focused on its level of validity and reliability. Validation studies reported by Bennion and Adams  (1986)  suggest good to strong internal  consistency of the four identity status scales with college  (Adams et al.,  (Adams & Jones,  1983).  1979)  and high school students  Further investigations of the  reliability of the EOMEIS-2 indicate moderate to high internal consistency, ranging from .62 to  .80 on both  ideological and interpersonal subscales. With regard to test—retest reliability, Adams,  Shea and Fitch  (1979)  found correlations of stability for the subscales ranging from .71 to .93  (p’s  <  0.01 or better)  for intervals of  four weeks on the prototype version of this measure, the OM—EIS.  In short,  evidence supports moderate to strong  consistency between items on the EOMEIS-2 and its consistency over time. With regard to validity,  the “expected” relationships  between the identity status subscales showed evidence for discriminant and convergent validity (Bennion & Adams, 1986).  Although there is potential for self—report scale  scores to be contaminated by social desirability response bias,  no significant relationships were found between the  ideological and interpersonal scales and a social desirability response measure.  Estimates of predictive and  70 concurrent validity were provided by correlations between the identity subscales and measures of personality constructs such as self—acceptance,  locus of control,  rigidity and authoritarianism. These  intimacy,  associations were theoretically consistent Adams,  1986).  (Bennion &  Face validity was addressed by the ratings  of a panel of trained student judges, who were able  (with  to judge the items as representative of  94.6% agreement)  the appropriate status. The Marcia Ego Identity Interview (Marcia,  1966)  is  widely accepted as a valid measure of ego development (Waterman,  1982).  Thus,  the comparisons of the status  derivation of the interview and the EOMEIS-2 seem critical in further assessing concurrent validity.  Several  different methods of comparing the EOMEIS-2 and the Marcia interview strategy as identity assessment methods have found moderate to high agreement in status classification. An investigation by Adams et al.  (1984)  has demonstrated  that comparison categorizations between the original CM— EIS  (Adams,  et al.,  1979)  and the Ego Identity Interview  can reach 80% agreement or higher.  Strong evidence for  concurrent validity between the original OM-ElS and Marcia’s  (1966)  Ego Identity Incomplete Sentence Blank has  also been established across validity studies of the CM— EIS  (Adams et al.,  1979).  Taken as a whole,  Bennion and Adams  (1986)  have paid  71 considerable attention to developing the EOMEIS-2 as a psychometrically sound measurement device.  Further, the  extensive body of research on identity development that has utilized the OM-EIS (Grotevant & Adams,  (Adams et al.,  1979),  1984), and EOMEIS-2  EOMEIS—1  (Bennion & Adams,  1986), has added to its validity, thus strengthening confidence in its ability to be sensitive to identity status differences in the current study. Narrative Structure as an Assessment of Parental Influence on Career Development As the major life decisions that direct career development seem themselves to be composed of the past, present, and future, and because the notion of influence too,  seems to imply a similar connection,  the use of  narratives or life stories was considered appropriate for the current investigation. In the present study,  then,  narrative accounts will be used as the bases for the exploration of the ways in which young adults construct the domain of parental influence in explanation of their own career development. Interview methods To meet the objective of this research——to record the experience of perceived parental influence——a focused, nondirective interview style was chosen.  Such an interview  relies on the interviewer covering a series of topics in the form of open ended questions  [a full description of  72 the introduction and questions is provided in Appendix E, and follows a procedure developed by Young et al.,  (in  press)]. Volunteers were made aware during the initial contact that first interviews would be approximately one to one and a half hours in length, and that the follow-up interview would last approximately 30 minutes in length. In order to retain the full story of each subject, interview protocols were audiorecorded and later transcribed. As previously stated, to encourage the development of each individual life—story, a semi—structured interview format was used. The interview schedule is presented in Appendix E.  Participants were invited to tell about their  own lives: where they were in their career development, what was important to them, what their goals were,  and the  influence they perceive their parents had had on their lives and careers.  Subjects were encouraged to elicit  specific incidents from their pasts in which they felt their parents had particularly influenced them (Flanagan, 1954).  They were be asked to describe the incident itself,  and their response to it: what they did and felt after the incident. Participants were then asked to judge whether they felt the incident was helpful or harmful to their career development. Lastly, subjects were asked whether they expected to reach their future life goals.  73 Follow-up interview. Upon completion the data collection and analysis, all subjects interviewed received a verification or follow—up interview. During this interview subjects  received a  printed summary and interpretation of their own stories. Subjects were asked if these stories accurately represented their experiences as they had narrated them in the previous interview. They were asked if they wished to make any corrections or additions to their stories. The purpose behind this interview was to establish if each individual subject felt understood so that their experiences would be rendered “true” in the analysis. The questions that were asked as a part of this interview were: 1.  “Do you feel that this summary captures your  experience with regard to how you feel your parents have influenced you in your career development?” 2.  “Is there anything in your story that you feel is  inaccurate; anything that you would like to take out or change?” 3.  “Do you have any other thoughts or feelings that  have come up for you since we last met that you would like to add to your story?” Reliability and validity. Reliability can be achieved in narrative research primarily through the dependability of the data  74 (Polkinghorne,  1988). Dependability relies on the  trustworthiness of the taping, the transcripts made,  and  the ability of the interviewer to elicit as much data as possible without leading the narrator. Robinson and Hawpe suggest that stories cannot be tested like  (1986)  hypotheses because authentic events cannot be replicated under controlled conditions.  Similarly, Polkinghorne  asserts that reliability in narrative studies do  (1988)  “not have formal proofs of reliability, relying instead on the details of their procedures to evoke an acceptance of trustworthiness of the data” belief,  Sandelowski  (1986)  (p.  177). Following this  suggests that qualitative  research, although nonrepeatable, derives a measure of reliability from a procedure outlined by the researcher that can be clearly followed so that another researcher, using the same perspectives and similar data would arrive at similar conclusions. These criteria are met in the proposed study through the procedures described above and the detailed outline provided in Appendix E. Polkinghorne (1988)  states that validity in narrative  research depends on “the strength of the analysis of the data”  (p.  176). This involves the recognition of the  researcher’s own attitudes and perceptions both during the interview and in the analysis of the data. The task of the researcher is to accurately report the meaning of the experience as it was reported by the narrators.  In the  75 proposed investigation, respondent validation will be achieved through the use of the second interview to read the summary of the narrative to the narrator and discussing it following the outline described above. Procedure Prior to the administration of the identity status measure, the class was introduced to the purpose of the study. They were informed that they were being asked to participate in a research project for a Masters thesis in counselling psychology at the University of British Columbia that deals with identity and how individuals perceive the influence of parents on their lives and career development.  Further, that the study consisted of  two phases: the first involved completing a questionnaire that looks at how they understand and view themselves; the second involved being interviewed about how they feel their parents had influenced their lives and careers. They were also told that being called to participate in the second phase of the study would depend on their own willingness to participate, as indicated on the consent form,  and their scores on the measure in the first phase  of the study. The class was assured that their participation in the study was completely voluntary, that it was not a class requirement, and that it would not affect their overall standing in their course. The class was then asked to complete a consent form (Appendix D)  if  76 they were willing to participate, with the understanding that by signing the form they are also indicating consent to be contacted by the researcher for the intent of setting up an interview time. Subjects volunteering for the current study were first given the consent form (Appendix A)  followed by the  demographic questionnaire (Appendix C), and the Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status  (EOMEIS-2;  Appendix D). When all subjects had completed the EOMEIS-2 and the additional forms, they were collected. All test forms were scored according to procedures outlined in the manual for the EOMEIS-2 by a trained student researcher who was not the primary investigator in the current study. The purpose behind this procedure was to minimize possible interviewer bias in the second phase of the study (interviews)  stemming from prior knowledge of  test scores and identity status results. The principal investigator was told who to contact for the interviews and had access to test results upon completion of the analysis of the interviews. Those individuals with high scores in one of the four status categories,  Identity Achieved, Moratorium,  Foreclosed and Identity Diffused (scoring one or more standard deviations above the mean for the authors’ norms), and low scores in all of the other three (lower than one standard deviation above the mean) were called  77 for an interview. Bennion and Adams  (1986)  label these  subjects “pure” types, contrasting them to “transition” types,  or those who score greater than one standard  deviation above the mean in two or more of the identity status categories, and “low profile” moratoriums, who score lower than one standard deviation above the mean in all of the identity status categories. Prior to the initial interviews, participants were reminded that by signing the consent form in phase one, they had given permission to be audiotaped during the interview and to have portions of the conversation written up in the findings of this study (see Appendix A). They were assured that their names and identities would be kept completely confidential. The interviews themselves lasted approximately one hour in length and followed the format described in Appendix E. Upon completion of the interview, each subject was told that they would be notified upon completion of the analysis to set up a follow—up interview (approximately four weeks). As noted previously,  follow—up interviews lasted  approximately 30 minutes in length for the purpose of verification of completed narratives. They, too, were be audiotaped in order to retain individual comments, additions and changes to the personal narratives. Analysis and Interpretation Personal data was collected to ensure that all  78 subjects were of appropriate age for the current study (18 to 25 years). Subjects were categorized into one of four identity statuses on the basis of their scores on the EOMEIS—2 described in the procedure),  following the classification  rules outlined in the reference manual Huh,  1987,  (as  (Adams, Bennion &  1989). The researcher did not have access to  this information until the completion of narrative analysis. After each interview, the narratives were transcribed using both narrator’s and individual’s words. With regard to narrative structure analysis, the approach offered by Gergen and Gergen (1986) was used. These authors argue that there are three basic narrative structures which are based on an individuals personally evaluated movement in relation to their own life goals: A progressive narrative describes an individual moving towards personally valued goals,  a regressive narrative,  indicates movement away  form such goals, and a stable narrative shows the individual sustaining the same position in relation to their valued life goals throughout the narrative sequence. It was hypothesized that the narratives developed in the current study would be representative of, or slight variations of, progressive, regressive, and stable narrative types. The coding of narratives in order to categorize them  79 on the basis of Gergen and Gergen’s (1986) model, were based on the means—end sequences outlined by Alexander (1988). This procedure involves attending to the sequence of events summarized in the narratives, focusing on the outcome of each event and determining whether the affect involved is positive or negative.  So, critical incidents  in each narrative were analyzed by reducing them using the sequence,  outcome and affect categories proposed by  Alexander,  thus making it possible to determine the  overall direction and coherence of each person’s narrative (Young,  et al.  in press).  Once narrative structures were analyzed, narratives themselves were then examined and interpreted in further detail using a method of phenomenological reduction as described by Giorgi  (1975, pp.  72-79). This process  permits the “examination of all possible presentation of events that make up an experience and demonstrate their structural unity”. Giorgi  (1975)  refers to a process of identifying  elements that will comprise “meaning units” in the examination of phenomena. This involves reading, re reading and reflecting on the content of each transcript, highlighting and recording the words and phrases of any new thoughts perceived, and sorting these words and phrases according to similarity and intent  (all  transcripts in this investigation were sorted together).  80 All groupings would then be given a categorized heading. To examine the expression of the central themes, Giorgi  (1975)  suggests re-reading protocols in light of  the new categories. The structure of the experience could then be answered by the question:  “What does this tell me  about identity formation, and the experience of parental influence on the career and life direction of young adults?” These steps permitted the organization of individual perceptual experiences into groups or categories which could then be synthesized into a consistent structure of the identity formation and the experience of perceived parental influence in young adulthood. Following the structural and thematic analysis of personal narratives, the researcher then had access to identity status information in order to assess similarities and differences in narrative structure and themes in narratives of individuals within and between identity statuses.  Finally,  a chi square analysis was  applied to the data with regard to assessing statistically the possibility of a relationship between narrative types and identity status categories. Summaries A summary of the protocols was be prepared for each individual reflecting the meaning of their experiences. Each summary was a condensation of what was said by the  81 individual during the initial interview. No attempt was made to place the narrative into a historical context outside of what which had been described. Limitations Much of the value of research lies in its ability to be generalized. The current investigation does have limitations in this regard. First of all, the sample was restricted to the experience of parental influence of young adults who were registered in an introductory college psychology class. Their results, therefore, cannot be generalized to all groups of people who may share a particular identity status. The small number of students representing the Identity Diffuse and Moratorium statuses further inhibits generalization. Further, the sample consists of ten caucasian students and one student of asian origin,  so was not therefore culturally  representative. Secondly, the large volume of data generated from the interviews, has necessitated the relatively small sample size. Generalizability, therefore, can be gauged on a ‘goodness of fit’ 1986)  principle,  (Guba & Lincoln, cited in Sandelowski, rather than on a large sample.  It is the  reader that decides whether the findings are “meaningful and applicable, (Sandelowski,  in terms of his or her own experience”  1986, p.32).  A third limitation involves the combining of the  82 identity status tool, which is static-oriented, with the use of narrative, a very process—oriented approach. As such, the identity measure represents one’s stage of identity formation at a particular point in time.  It does  not capture the continually evolving process of identity formation  (eg., progression to and regression from a  particular identity status throughout the lifespan). A fourth limitation arises from the nature of the study, and the fact that experience is private,  and  continuously changing. Narrative research, therefore,  is  not repeatable in the traditional sense. The retelling of a story would be coloured by the experience of the first telling and is therefore not the same. Narratives of parental influence produced in this study, therefore, represent perceptions of the narrators’ experiences at a particular point in time, with the understanding that these same experiences,  in time, might be reflected upon  and perceived quite differently by those involved. Because of the noted limitations, the results of the proposed study can only be stated as approximations that tend toward truth.  83 CHAPTER FOUR Results  This chapter describes the findings of the current investigation.  It is divided into three sections, each  outlining the results of a different form of analysis that was performed on the data. The first section discusses the structural analysis of the completed narratives, the categorization of narrative types, and observed associations with overall identity status classifications. The second describes statistical findings with regard to the relationship between identity status and narrative structure.  Finally, a full discussion of the themes that  emerged from a phenomenological analysis of the completed narratives and their observed associations with identity status classifications are provided in the third section of this chapter. Results are based on the data obtained from 11 interviews that were generated from the scale score results of 49 participants who completed the EOMEIS-2. other words,  In  of the original 49 participants who completed  the identity status measure, 25 agreed to an interview, and of the 25,  11 had scale scores that classified them as  “pure identity status types”. As suggested in the preceding chapter, the “pure” types represent those individuals who scored greater than one standard deviation above the mean in only one identity status category on the  84 EOMEIS-2,  and are the only scores of interest in the  current investigation.  So,  individuals whose scores  classified them as “transition types”  (they scored greater  than one standard deviation above the mean in more than one identity status category), types”  or “low profile moratorium  (they scored less than one standard deviation above  the mean in all identity status categories) were not contacted for an interview. Frequencies of classified subjects for each of the four identity status categories, including a breakdown by gender of participant are reported in Table 1. Following the classification of subjects into identity status groups according to the categorization rules and specified means (standard deviations) provided by Adams et al.  (1989), a comparison was made between the  means and standard deviations of the scores in this investigation and those generated in the original validation study for the EOMEIS-2. As Table 2 reveals, the means and standard deviations generated by the original validation study are similar to those generated from these data. In the following sections, the narratives of “Nancy”, “Tricia”, “Colleen”,  “Trevor”, “Julia”,  “Brad”,  “Alison”,  “Angela”,  “Sara”,  “Meagan”, and “Anne” are described. Structural Analysis  A structural analysis of completed narratives was  85 Table 1. Distribution of Identity Status Scores on the EOMEIS-2 Males  Females  Identity Achieved  3  7  Moratorium  2  3  Foreclosed  0  1  Identity Diffused  4  4  11  6  0  6  20  27  Classification  Low Profile Moratorium Transitional Status TOTALS  Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations for Identity Status Scales Mean  SD  Achievement  67. 6  7. 3  Moratorium  54.1  8.3  Foreclosure  41.3  9.2  Diffusion  44.7  8.7  Achievement  65.5  8.3  Moratorium  52.5  9,9  Foreclosure  43.5  10.3  Diffusion  43.2  9.3  Identity status scale  I.  II.  Present study  Original study  86 undertaken for the purposes of more fully understanding how young people construct stories of their lives accounting for the experience of parental influence,  and  also to observe whether commonalities in structure exist between participants sharing the same identity status. Three narrative types were identified based on the analysis of 11 transcribed interviews. The analysis itself was based on a procedure delineated by Alexander (1988)  in  which critical incidents are reduced using sequence, outcome, and affect categories. The resulting three narrative types presented here are all variants of one of Gergen and Gergen’s  (1986)  rudimentary narrative types,  the progressive type, meaning that all participants recounted critical incidents with their parents that were seen as instrumental in the participants’  own movement  toward career goals. Thus, none of the 11 narratives presented here represent either regressive or stable narrative types  (Gergen & Gergen,  1986). The resulting  narrative types are also strongly representative of three of five narrative types proposed by Young et al. press),  (in  in their analysis of narratives of perceived  parental influence [Young et al.  (in press)  also defined  their narrative types as variants of those proposed by Gergen & Gergen,  (1986)]. Because of this similarity, the  type categories developed by Young et al.  (in press) will  be used here to describe the narrative structures found in  87 this study.  It should be noted that examples of the two  regressive narrative types discovered by Young et al.,  (in  press), the anticipated regressive narrative and the sad narrative, were not evident in the narratives gathered in this study. This discrepancy might be explained by the subject sample used in the current investigation.  In other  words, the fact that all participants in this study were enroled in a post secondary institution at the time of their interview may suggest that they were already involved in a process of moving toward personal career goals and would therefore be likely to express confidence in reaching these goals. Thus, the narrative generated by each participant at this point in his or her life would be likely to be progressive. Using the categories outlined by Young et al.  (in  press), the three narrative types found here are described progressive narrative with negatively evaluated  as 1)  stages, point,  2)  progressive narrative with a dramatic turning  and 3) progressive narrative within a positive  evaluation frame. Of the 11 interviews, eight are classified as type 1 narratives, one as a type 2 narrative, and two as type 3 narratives. The figures that accompany each narrative type indicate that narratives are plotted on two dimensions: evaluation of the possibility of attaining life goals, and time. The solid line illustrates the narrative from the  88 time each participant chose to begin his or her life story to the time of the interview. The anticipation of future goals is illustrated by a broken line. Type 1. The Progressive Narrative With Negatively Evaluated Stages As suggested by Young et al.  (in press),  in this  narrative type, the individual realizes a valued career or life outcome despite parental influence  (see Figure 1).  Incidents describing parental influence tend to be both positively and negatively evaluated, and often relations with one or both parents are strained (described as currently or previously a “struggle”).  In these  narratives, the transmission of certain parental values is often experienced by the young person as restricting, limiting,  and not trusting of the young person’s ability  to manage their own life. Consequently, parental values and expectations are often discarded. These themes are depicted in a time line in which incidents with parents are both negatively and positively evaluated, but in time, parental behaviours are judged to be less facilitative, and in some cases inhibiting of the young person’s movement towards his or her career goals. The struggle with parents, however,  is eventually overcome, and the  young person feels free to pursue career goals despite parental influence. In one example, a young woman describes her struggles  89  FIGURE l Progressive Narrative with Negatively Evaluated Stages  + U) U)  LU  U)  U--! L)QLI  oo —  TIME  >  evaluation to the present -  anticipation of future  NOTE. From ‘Narrative Structure and Parental Influence on Career Development”. By R.A. Young, J.D. Friesen, & B. Borycki (in press). Journal of Adolescence.  90 against maternal values and a perceived lack of emotional support from her mother during her childhood and The results of initially recalled events  adolescence.  tended to produce negative affect and led to feelings of being misunderstood and pressured.  She describes her  mother’s traditional values about the role of women, “...she believes in fulfilling social roles as a wife. She’s from the old country, where you get your husband a drink-—being a good wife.” She details her own rejection of this value by suggesting,  “I think it’s backlashed me.  It’s made me more  feminist in a sense.” She perceives that the lack of emotional support from her mother, has had a big impact on her life: She gave me practical protection but not emotional. And I think that has affected me a lot.  If I had been  given more emotional support back then,  I probably  wouldn’t be having problems now. Despite the perceived “strained” relationship with her mother, this young woman has developed a strong sense of her own values and life goals: •  .  .  to be a teacher and get married and have a  family.  .  .  to have good relationships with other  people.. .to be in a job I’m happy with, and not a dead—end job, even if it’s a job that’s in school. And just be at--when you get up in the morning you  91 feel good. You don’t have so much stress. Through adopting such goals, she seems to have opted out of the lifestyle that her mother values, which is described as,  “ have a nice home and be financially  I guess. Also to fit the role, be a good mother,  secure,  a  good woman——appearances.” This young woman recognizes that she has accepted some of her mother’s values and rejected others. Her value,  “to be happy”, and her love for children,  example, explains,  for  she asserts, did not come from her mother. “. .  .education was a big thing in my family,  definitely not kids.  “She didn’t influence me in the  she’s more,  but  I don’t know why I started to like  kids so much because my mom hates kids.” Similarly, mentions,  She  she  ‘be happy part’,  ‘Take what you can get it doesn’t matter if  you’re unhappy.’.” Despite the fact that incidents involving her mother tended to produce negative affect in the past, these same incidents are re—evaluated as positive in the present. Although her mother’s attempt to mould her daughter into a traditional woman’s “role” was rebelled against in the past,  for example, this young woman now sees her resulting  feminist ideology as positive.  In another incident,  she  felt “pressured” and “preached to” by her mother with regards to her pursuing post—secondary education, however, she again re—evaluates this influence as positive. This  92 positive re—evaluation is indicated when she suggests,  “I  guess she did it pretty good, because now I always say, ‘Oh,  education...’——just saying how important it is.” Despite the influence of her mother in this aspect of  her life,  she asserts that the decision to enter college  was definitely her own. She states, school,  “I’m glad I’m going to  but it was my decision to come.”  In this narrative, there is a strong identification with the parent who is not involved in the struggle.  In  this case the young woman identifies with her father, who has lived in another city throughout most of her life.  In  contrast to those incidents involving her mother, those involving her father produced positive affect in the past and are evaluated positively in the present.  Incidents  involving her father tended to produce feelings of being supported, validated, and understood.  She recognizes that  emotional support from her father helped her to overcome a traumatic childhood incident that her mother attempted to ignore. Overall she sees herself as having accepted some parental values and rebelled against others. Despite her poor relationship with her mother,  she suggests that she  has grown to accept her mother’s positive and negative qualities when she states,  “It’s been pretty strained  because we’ve been having a lot of huge fights.  .  .we’ve  gotten closer again, and I’ve just had to accept that  93 she’s so unemotional, you know...” She feels good about the decisions she’s made and strongly believes that she will reach the goals she has set out for herself,  “. .  .1 know I will.  I can’t imagine  myself doing something else.” In another example of this type, a young man’s initiatives are judged harshly by his parents because they don’t meet with parental expectations. He thus perceives little parental support for his goals and retrospectively evaluates parental influence negatively. The majority of recalled incidents by this participant are evaluated negatively and contain negative affect. However, the perceived pressure from his parents eventually leads to rebellion, and he begins to make his own decisions about his life despite parental influence. The struggle in this person’s narrative is one of independence from parents, especially mother. He has a clear definition of failure from his parents’ points of view, which he believes involves ending up like his educated but unemployed older brother. He thus evaluates some of his own past decisions based on parental approval of those made by his brother: • .  .my mom worries a lot about my brother. And that’s  part of the reason I don’t want to--why it was kind of a shock for me to do bad last year. to end up like him.  I didn’t want  I kept thinking like that! And  94 that’s my worst fear... He perceives his mother as having set high standards for his performance. He states,  “She’s very quick to say  something if I’m doing something wrong.” He sees himself as currently trying to sort out his own life and make his own decisions. He suggests,  “I’m  trying to figure out what the rest of my life means to me.” However, he recognizes that he is used to measuring his own success in relation to his brother and sister’s accomplishments, which are rooted in fulfilling parental expectations: Well, my brother and sister got really good grades, and I found myself trying to keep up to them, match them step for step.  .  .  even though I got a scholarship,  it was $2,500., my sister got 10,000.,  so maybe I was  thinking that my parents would respect me more... The struggle with perceived parental pressure and parental expectations eventually results in a verbal confrontation with the young man’s mother: .my mom also wants me to finish school as soon as possible--that’s why she wanted me to get all of my courses right away, do this, this, and that. though I’m still,  like,  .  .  Even  I don’t know what I’m doing  still——I don’t know what I want, and she’s rushing me into getting a job, right, and I don’t want to do  95 that.  .  .1 guess I was just getting fed up with all of  her pressure  .  I just kind of blew up one day and  said that I would move out of the house if that’s what she wanted. Overall, he describes parental influence as an “uphill fight” and sees his parents as having adversely affected his attempts to create goals for himself: They probably added stress,  I would think. They seem  to be making me more nervous about what I’m going to be doing and stuff. Right now, the last two semesters here,  like,  I have to get good grades,  or else I’m  finished! Nonetheless,  over time, the young man’s recalled  incidents indicate increased independent thinking and responsibility for his own life. He sees himself as having rebelled against his mother’s desire for him to find work quickly,  and recognizes that recent decisions he has made  have been for himself, and not to please his parents. Although his goals are uncertain, he is confident that eventually this will change; he is maintaining a positive outlook on his life. Type 2. Progressive Narrative With a Dramatic Turning Point As described by Young et al.  (in press),  in these  narratives there is a crucial turning point in which the young person is able to change the outcome of the life  96  FIGURE 2 Progressive Narrative with a Dramatic Turning Point  + Cr) C’, LU  0<  H 0 o -..  (ThUJ  TIME  >  evaluation to the present -  anticipation of future  NOTE. From “Narrative Structure and Parental nfIuence on Career Development”. By R.A. Young, J.D. Friesen, & B. Borycki (in press), Journal of Adolescence.  97 story from failure to success  Initially,  (see Figure 2).  this person’s life experiences are evaluated negatively due to poor or abusive parenting. Following a dramatic climax,  a turning point, however, the young person is able  to reconceptualize life as hopeful: Goals are identified, and the experience of poor parenting is overcome. The following example of a progressive narrative with a dramatic turning point illustrates a daughter’s life as a struggle against the inconsistent, verbally abusive parenting provided by her mother.  She lived alone with her  mother until she was 16 years old, and describes her mother during this time as a naive woman who was more concerned about her own appearance and acceptance by peers than her own family.  In this narrative, experiences with  her mother tended to produce negative affect and were also evaluated negatively by the young woman. Initially recalled incidents involve her mother’s attempts to enforce rules and the young woman’s own rebellion early on in life: Sometimes I didn’t really care what my mom thought because I thought she was really naive.  .  .1 started to  wear make—up long before she would have allowed me to and then once I was allowed to,  I never wore it!  She describes her own feelings about her mother’s rules and expectations: They were confusing and they made me  98 rebellious. didn’t,  .  .  Some days I had rules and some days I  and the days I did have rules were the days I I don’t think my mom really  wanted to break them all. knew what she was doing.  .  .  so I would follow them  sometimes and other times I wouldn’t.  It was like,  if  you’re going to enforce a rule, be there to enforce it or don’t even try! Inconsistency in parenting resulting from her mother’s frequent absences from the home adversely affected the intimacy and communication in their relationship: With my mom it made me more distant from her.  I  didn’t tell her as many things, which by the end of the time I was living with her, telling her anything.  I probably wasn’t  She was very irrational in her  decisions——sometimes something would be okay and the next day it wouldn’t was like I was being pushed to be an individual but at the same time I wasn’t allowed to be.  I wasn’t allowed to express my  decisions. Constant movement throughout the lower mainland due to her mother’s shifting occupations also limited the possibility of her developing close friendships: •  .  .  in 12 years I went to 10 schools.  .  .the thing I  regret now is that I never really had any close friends.. .I’ve always wanted to have just a single  99 group of friends that I’ve always just had. People that you could share memories with and stuff. Although the young woman asserts that her relationship with her mother has always been distant,  she  describes its progressive deterioration up until she reached 16 years of age, at which time she ran away from home: She was always yelling and screaming at me——I just couldn’t do anything right. So I left because I couldn’t handle it. It felt like verbal abuse that I was getting from her. And her new husband,  I don’t  think really liked me. This young woman’s confidence and self esteem was undermined by her mother’s inability to provide consistent parenting for her daughter.  She has therefore lived her  life believing that she was never wanted by her mother-that her mother had never really desired to have a family at all: .She had a child too young. sheltered life.  . .  She lived a very  She didn’t start living until she  was 21 and unfortunately that’s when she had just had me.  I think she was trying to grow up and be a parent  at the same time. Running away and eventually living with her father served as a turning point for this young woman. states,  “. .  She  .1 felt I finally had something stable to look  100 forward to.  I was getting tired of moving around.. .my  grades went down because I couldn’t handle it.” The narrative takes a turn for the positive and she becomes able to shift the metaphor of her life to success through the identification of goals for herself. explains,  She  “I realized I had things I wanted to do now.  I  wanted to graduate for one.” However,  she acknowledges that other struggles still  remain by suggesting,  “It’s just a matter of figuring out  what’ s right for me...” Despite these negatively evaluated experiences with her mother, this young woman is learning to accept her past and move on with her life: Well, we never had a close relationship, my mom and I. To me she’s always been very cold.  She’s not an  easy person to warm up to. And so now I’m stopping using up my energy to please her and starting to do things to please myself.  It’s taken me a long time to  figure that one out. She has decided not to be like her mother, that I’ll be more stable than my mom was.  “I hope  I want to have a  family, whereas that’s not what she ever really wanted...she didn’t ignore me but she wasn’t around a lot.” It is her father’s support that gives her motivation: I always knew I had a place there...It (moving in  101 with her father) made us closer.  .  .1 talk to my dad  about my goals and he’s happy about them. My dad listens to what I have to say and asks me questions that make me think... With support from her father and her friends,  along  with her newfound will to succeed, she’s hopeful of reaching her goals. Type 3. Progressive Narrative Within a Positive Evaluation Frame A third type of narrative, as outlined by Young et al.  (in press),  involves a progression towards life goals  through accommodation of the young person to the parents’ influence (see Figure 3). There is an explicit lack of rebellion in these narratives. The parents and their values and way of life are seen as appropriate, and are often idealized. Parental influence is seen as positive in the incidents recounted, and there is a positive evaluation of their career and life direction. An example of this type of narrative is provided by a young woman who is in school preparing to become a french teacher, a career move she has not questioned since she made the decision in childhood.  She lives at home with her  mother and two younger sisters. Her own values stem from a positive family environment: I think family is very important.  I’ve been very  close with my mom and my sisters.  It’s very important  102  FIGURE 3 Progressive Narrative within a Positively Evaluated Frame  + U) C’) Cl)  TIME evaluation to the present -  anticipation of future  NOTE. From “Narrative Structure and Parental Influence on Career Development”. By R.A. Young, J.D Friesen, & B. Borycki (in press). Journal of Adolescence.  103 in life.  It makes you happy.  .  .  Just doing the things  that make you happy. Work--Put work in with family and--just anything that makes you happy. She describes many of her mother’s values as being similar to her own: She has a hard time trusting people, me.  .  just like  .We’re very emotional people.. .She actually talks  to me all the time about trust and relationships, just cause we’re more like sisters than mother/daughter. Incidents in this narrative are largely concerned with activities with her mother that produced feelings of being supported and encouraged.  She feels very accepted in  her home and perceives no imposing parental expectations with regard to how she should live her life. “They’ve just always said,  She explains,  ‘Do your best’, and ‘Be happy  in life’.” As a result she did not rebel against her mother’s parenting.  She states,  “I’ve pretty much gone along with  what my parents wanted for me. my life.  I haven’t rebelled much in  I’ve been a good child.”  She learns about life from her mother’s experiences with relationships, work, and family of origin, and demonstrates an awareness of her mother’s difficult life: The things she has confided in me have made me pretty sceptical about relationships.  She hasn’t had any  104 very decent relationships in her life...But shess happy in her job, with her family,  that I’ve picked up on.. .Seeing her I’ve realized how wonderful it is-  It’s very important to me now. She also takes on the role of parenting her two younger sisters when their mother isn’t home. This is indicated through her stating,  “They like me being a  sister, but you have to show some guidance, cause when mom’s not there...” On the whole, this young woman feels her mother is very supportive of the goals she has set for herself, and continues to talk to her about them. Due to her strong desire to accomplish her goals, will,  she is very confident she  indeed, reach them. A second example of the progressive narrative within  a positive evaluation frame is provided by a young man who is currently taking classes at the college level, but has decided to leave the school system and pursue a career as a swimmer or swim coach. He swam competitively for nine years, but had to leave the sport due to injury. Taking on the attitude,  “If you’re going to die, die being happy.”,  he has decided to attempt swimming as a career once again. The young man describes past parental support with regards to his swimming career: They were always there.  If I had to go to a meet,  they had the money for it and we were there. They  105 would find the money. Always there, always.  It was my  dad getting me up for practice, not me...Ny parents were very committed. In this narrative, all seven incidents are evaluated positively, and with one exception, are associated with positive affect. The majority of incidents are associated with family activities that led to the young man’s feeling supported,  encouraged, and accepted. The one exception  involves this person’s confronting his parents about their decision not to put him into hockey when he was younger. However, he states an acceptance of their decision: I regret not being put into hockey, and I’ve told them that, but at the time they didn’t think it was the right thing to do.  .  .A lot of kids were bullies  then and my character then just wouldn’t have fit.  .  .1  know where my parents are coming from. The incident is re-evaluated in terms that the decision was probably for the best. He states, tried hockey,  “If I had  I might not have swam, and I wouldn’t be  where I am today.” His parents are both described as “family—oriented”, and “supportive” of his decisions. His relationships with each have “always been good”, and his family environment, “excellent”. As a result, he has never rebelled: And usually just with the respect I have for my parents,  I’ve usually gone along with what they’ve  106 thought is right. You think about it,  and it’s like,  ‘They’re right, they know what they’re talking about’. There is no evidence of a struggle against parental values and goals. He has accepted the values of openness, honesty,  and family support as important in his own life,  and seems to take on a parental role in communicating these to his younger sister: They just kinda said, is what you do,  ‘What you do in your own time  just be careful, and don’t do  anything in excess.’.  I’m the same with my sister.  I’d rather know what she’s getting (referring to obtaining alcohol)  by getting it through me than  getting it through someone else. He recognizes that his parents still have a great deal of influence on him. He is in school because of his parents’ wishes,  even though he realizes he’s not  motivated to continue, and in this respect he feels he has disappointed them. On the whole, however, he feels they are happy with the decisions he has made with his life. Analysis of the Relationship Between Narrative Structure and Identity Status Bringing in identity status results from scores on the EOMEIS-2, the 11 interviews are classified as follows: Six are representative of the Achieved identity status, three of the Moratorium status and two of the Diffused  107 identity status. None of the 11 participants was representative of Identity Foreclosure. With regard to narrative structure, all six narratives of the Identity Achieved participants are classifiable as type 1 narratives, or progressive narratives with negatively evaluated stages. Of the three narratives of Moratorium status individuals, two are classified as type 1, and one of type 2,  or the progressive narrative with a dramatic  turning point. The two narratives of Identity Diffuse participants are classified as type 3, or progressive narratives within positive evaluation frames. A chi square correlation revealed a relation between identity status categories and narrative types, X (1, N 11)  =  2.81, p  <  =  .10. This test was chosen because the  hypothesis under test concerns a comparison of observed and expected frequencies in discrete categories.  It is  important to note, however, that performing such a statistical analysis on a small sample size 11)  (in this case  required making two corrective measures before chi  square could be applied. Due to low expected frequencies in the original 3 x 3 table  (frequencies were less than  five in five of six cells),  for example, two neighbouring  rows and columns were combined. Because of the similarity in narrative structure of the identity achieved and moratorium participants, these two columns were combined. The numbers of narrative types 2 and 3 were also combined,  108 thus creating a 2 x 2 table. A second adjustment to the data involved applying the Yates Correction for Continuity, which consisted of reducing by .5 each obtained frequency that was greater than the associated expected frequency,  and increasing by the same amount each  frequency that was less than expected. This correction is applied to a problem with one degree of freedom, and when any individual cell frequencies are less than 10. Taking into account these corrections, the resulting chi square points toward a significant difference between the groups, and thus a relation between identity status category and narrative type.  It should be noted that cM square was  applied in this instance on an exploratory basis with regard to further assessing the nature of the relationship between narrative structure and identity status. Thus,  an  alpha level was not predetermined. The relationship between the variables under study was therefore determined to be significant at the, p  <  .10 level.  It seems likely  that the level of significance has been influenced by the necessary combining of independent categories due to the small sample size, and that with a larger sample size, the strength of the relationship as indicated by chi square would become more evident. Distinct patterns of themes associated with narrative structure were also observed that propose a relationship between ego identity status and narratives of perceived  109 parental influence on career development. This finding supports the statistical result described above,  then,  suggesting that young adults at different stages of identity formation tell stories of perceived parental influence differently. While the narratives of participants who were classified as either Identity Achieved or Moratorium statuses tended to share the same narrative structure, few subtle differences were apparent.  a  For example, the six  participants classified as Identity Achieved universally spoke about struggles or conflicts with parents as occurring in the past. Relationships with one or both parents may have remained “strained” into the present, however,  the participant speaks of having “come to accept”  value differences with the parent(s)  in question. They  indicate having completely overcome their struggle with parental influence and are well on their way to achieving their goals. In the narratives of identity achieved participants, there is a clear sense of awareness of personal values and goals,  and the process through which personal goals will  be reached is detailed. The two participants classified as in Moratorium status, and whose narratives were also progressive narratives with positively and negatively evaluated stages, however,  suggest that they have only  recently begun the process of separating themselves from  110 parental influences. While they recognize their growing individuality, the process is not complete.  In other  words, the struggle with parents has not been completely overcome,  and the “acceptance” of value differences that  is indicated in the narratives of the Identity Achieved participants has not been reached. They have begun to clarify personal values and goals, however, they remain vague and/or uncertain (however, each individual expresses confidence that goals will eventually be clarified). Similarly, the young woman classified as in Moratorium status, but whose narrative structure is identified as type two,  or progressive with a dramatic turning point,  indicates that the “turning point” in her life during which she began to break free from parental influence has been recent (within the past year). beginning to set career goals,  Further,  she is only  for herself, rather than to  please her mother. The narrative structure that identifies the stories told by the two participants classified as Identity Diffuse represents an unexpected finding. Progressive narratives within positive evaluation frames would seem more typical of individuals classified as Identity Foreclosed. This would seem likely due to the apparent acceptance of parental values without question (or conflict)  in these narratives.  In addition, these two  participants also speak of having identified career goals  111 early in life without question (indicating commitment to career goals). Nonetheless, these two narratives are highly similar in structure. They differ from the other narratives in that there is an explicit lack of rebellion against parental values and goals. Relationships with parents are described as always having been positive and supportive.  Experiences with parents are evaluated  similarly (positive and supportive)  in these narratives,  unlike the other narrative types in which struggles or conflicts with parents are identified and described. In summary, the results of the structural and statistical analyses provided here indicate a relation between identity status and narrative structure with regard to the experience of parental influence on career development. The third section of this chapter is concerned with detailing the results of a phenomenological analysis that was performed on the data as an attempt to illustrate some of the themes noted above. Phenomenological Analysis During the structural analysis,  interview transcripts  were categorized according to their narrative structure, or in other words, according to how each interviewee experienced the influence of their parents in relation to the interviewees’ own movement towards their life goals. The purpose of the phenomenological analysis was to explore in greater depth, themes associated with the  112 experience of parental influence on career development. As such, this analysis provides a method of technique triangulation to increase the strength of the validity of the structural analysis and the themes found therein. Patterns of themes observed in the narratives of those individuals sharing the same identity status were also investigated. Giorgi  (1975)  suggests that the task of the  phenomenological researcher is to: let the world of the describer, or more concretely the situation as it exists for the subject, reveal itself throughout the descriptions in an unbiased way. Thus it is the situation as it exists for the subject that descriptions yield.  (p.  74)  He thus describes the process of phenomenology as, “...dealing with the perceptions and thoughts of man.  It  is this reflexive or self—referential movement that phenomenology tries to comprehend.”  (p.  79)  Following this  position, the analysis of interview protocols, as provided in this section,  is sensitive to the participants’ own  interpretations of their situations and of their own ideas concerning the experience of parental influence on their career development. With regard to potential biases of the researcher, phenomenology accepts them as a integral part of the research; the objectivity in terms of what his/her  113 experience of what is being observed (Agnew & Brown, 1989).  As suggested by Schroeder (1987),  There is no process of enlightenment, discipline,  or  purification by virtue of which the critical thinker can escape all bias, since to escape these would amount to an escape from one’s own position in the world. Nonetheless,  (p.  65)  in attempt to minimize potential bias, the  researcher adhered specifically to the words of the participants in extracting themes throughout the analysis. To explore the experience of parental influence on career development,  “meaning units”  (Giorgi,  1975) were  first identified. In other words, after reading the entire transcript through to get a sense of the whole, the researcher re—read the transcript delineating each time that a transition in meaning was perceived with respect to the intention of discovering the meaning of parental influence. The resulting meaning units from all transcripts were then related to each other and to the sense of the whole, to discover themes relating to what the meaning units reveal about the experience of parental influence on career development. asked the following question:  In short, the data were  “What does this statement or  group of statements tell me about the experience of parental influence on career development?” In all, themes emerged from the analysis of the interview  14  114 protocols. The list of themes was then synthesized into a consistent description of the experience of parental influence on career development. Building on the earlier note about attempts to minimize researcher bias, during the delineation of meaning units and the identification of themes, the researcher adhered specifically to the words of the participants in their narratives in attempt to avoid biasing the results of this investigation based on the researchers own experiences of parental influence. example,  So,  for  an experience involving parental support was not  identified as such by the researcher unless the participant him/herself did so in his or her narrative. The subtlety of parental influence, another experienced theme, was similarly not identified unless a participant used the word “subtle” in describing an experience of parental influence. An Examination of Themes The following is a list of the 14 themes.  Some  overlap in content, thus they appear to be very closely linked.  For example, the themes “parental support” and  “communication” seem to be linked in such a way that participants who experienced their parent(s)  as  encouraging of open communication with their children tended to also experience their parents as “supportive” in the incidents recalled. These themes are separated,  115 however, because “parental support” is also experienced in other ways by individual participants.  Similarly, the  experience of “parental transmission of values” overlaps with the experience of feeling “pressure” from parents when the transmission of a particular value is experienced by the participants as an expectation of the parents’. These two themes are separated because the transmission of parental values is not experienced negatively by all participants in all incidents. A detailed description of these themes and their structure is presented following the list of themes. The 14 themes associated with the experience of parental influence on career development have been identified as: 1.  Parental Influence is Subtle  2.  Parental Support  3.  Parental Lack of Support  4.  Communication  5.  Parental Transmission of Values  6.  Pressure  7.  Parents Want What’s Best For Their Children  8. Autonomy is Necessary For Growth 9.  Participants Understand Their Parents’  Points  of View 10.  Personal Learning From a Parent’s Life Experiences  11.  Parent/Child Relationships Change Over Time  116 12.  Commitment  13. Confidence in Success 14.  Personal Responsibility For Success  In short,  few of the 14 themes described above are  consistently evident throughout all 11 narratives. Nonetheless, the majority of the complete set of narratives do exhibit some variant of the noted themes.  It  will be suggested in the following detailed description of themes, that some of the inconsistencies in the occurrence of themes might be accounted for by variance in identity status. A Detailed Description of Themes The 14 most consistently evident themes in the 11 narratives are recounted here in greater detail. In other words,  the following represent the only themes that were  found in at least six of the eleven narratives.  Specific  statements from the interview protocols are provided to illustrate individual themes (for the purpose of maintaining confidentiality of participants, pseudonyms replace true names). As suggested earlier with regard to the results from the structural analysis, although a restricted sample size limits suggested correlations between themes relating to the experience of parental influence on career development and identity status scale scores, observational associations between the two variables are noted.  In order to address the possibility  117 that “the most consistently evident themes” do not take into account themes unique to the Identity Diffusion and Moratorium statuses (because of the small number of participants representing each status),  interview  protocols were again re—read in order to identify additional possible themes that would highlight identity status differences. No new themes were found. Parental influence is subtle. In the majority of narratives, parental influence is described by the participants as “subtle”.  In other words,  participants suggest that retrospectively they are aware of the influence of their parents on their lives, however, that at the time this influence went unnoticed. Trevor, for example,  explains,  “They never said they specifically  wanted me to be anything, but they subtly reinforced certain occupations and not others.” Meagan describes her experience with parental influence in a similar way: Well,  they’ve always given me choices, but they’ve  also tried to show me which was the best one by making the light shine on which one they thought was the better choice to make.  It was all pretty subtle,  but I see it now. Brad speaks of the subtlety of parental influence in a more general way,  suggesting that,  influential in my life.  In a  “Both have been very  general sense I know they’ve  118 influenced me, and I don’t really know how, but it’s there.. .very subtle.” Julia speaks of the influence of her mother with regard to her deciding whether or not to pursue post— secondary education: She was really subtle...she would tell me stories that had hidden meaning in them. Like when I asked it was like,  for pictures of me as a baby,  ‘Oh,  I  didn’t have a camera because I didn’t go to university when I was young! ‘...just really subtle.  .  .not lecturing at all.  Like Julia’s experience, the subtlety of parental influence was indicated by most participants with regard to the decision to enter college. asserts,  Colleen,  for example,  “I always knew I had to go to university, because  education was a big thing in my family. anything that they’ve said,  It hasn’t been  I’ve just always known  that.” Trevor also suggests that while growing up he always felt that there was an “unwritten rule” in his family that everyone should attend university. Other participants provide very similar examples of the subtlety of their parents, especially where education has been concerned. Parental suprort. Parental support is one theme that pervades all narratives. A broad theme,  it covers several different  119 types of support, however,  all converge on the idea that  parental support is considered instrumental in the development and pursuit of career goals. The experience of receiving parental support for the young person’s ability to make independent decisions,  for example, tended to  enhance the young person’s confidence and motivation in working toward career goals. All participants describe at least one of their parents or primary caregivers as supportive of the participants’ ability to make independent decisions. Colleen,  for example, asserts,  “My mother was very happy  to let us make our own decisions.” Meagan suggests,  “They have always let me make the  choices.” Tricia explains of her mother,  “She left a lot of  decisions up to me.” Similarly, Angela speaks of her parents as, “...really people that, as long as I’m happy with what I’m and as long as it’s reasonable and responsible,  doing,  they let me make my own decisions.” Trevor describes a supportive incident involving his father: •  .  .he said I didn’t have to go to school if I didn’t  want to, that I could get a job and work for awhile if I wasn’t ready, that it was my it was easier to get into full time working instead of  120 school knowing I had his support. In turn, Trevor experiences this support from his father had a motivating effect on his pursuit of life goals. He explains,  “It was a good thing to hear.  .  .the  pressure to go to school was off and so then I realized I wanted to get back to school after the summer and keep going!” While receiving parental support for independent decision making was commonly experienced by the majority of participants, so was the experience of receiving parental support for specific career decisions. Most participants perceived at least some support from their parents  (meaning that at least one recounted critical  incident with one or both parents generated a feeling of having been supported)  for their decisions and goals which  was evaluated as having a positive influence on their career development. Angela,  for example, explains that “my  parents have been really supportive of my career plans.” As a result,  she “always felt accepted by them”,  “never  worried about school”, and never questioned her ability to reach her goals. Anne felt the support of her grandfather with regard to her decision to enter college. She states,  “My  grandparents are helping me with my education. They’re very supportive,  especially my grandfather.”  This support generated self-confidence and a sense of  121 pride in her work.  She explains,  “I was pretty proud of  myself because I didn’t think I could do it.  .  .1 was proud  that I could show him the things that I had done.” Alison suggests that the support from her family has given her confidence that she will reach her goals: They were happy that I was choosing a career and working at my future.. .that I had found something that I loved.  So that’s made me happy with my goals,  and so I think I’ll reach them because I want to reach them. For Sara,  support, or “positive feedback” from her  sister has built her confidence with regard to her relationship goals.  She suggests,  “Her support felt good.  Cause now I’m confident enough to feel that I know what’s good and what’s not good.” Nancy describes her feelings about the support provided by her father with regard to her educational goals,  “His support was encouraging. I wanted him to have  something to be proud of,  so it made me work harder.”  In  three narratives, both emotional and financial support provided by the parents was perceived as affording the opportunity to pursue certain career goals. such support,  In speaking of  for example, Meagan suggests:  They told me they would support me if I decided to go to school. my life,  .  .and I think that was a big influence in  otherwise I wouldn’t be here today.  I don’t  122 think I would have had the courage to get into a post secondary institution without their support. With parental support she is therefore confident that she will reach her goals. She asserts,  “I’m pretty  confident that I’ll reach them, especially with the support of my family.” In short, despite the fact that most of these same participants perceived that their relationships with their parents were “a struggle” a times section),  (described later in this  experiences with parents, and parental  behaviours perceived as supportive, are spoken of as valuable by the participants in their pursuit of life goals.  Sara,  for example, suggests that she has come to  realize “how important family is” despite previous struggles or conflicts with the sisters that raised her over her career goals. support, street,  She continues,  “Without their  I could have easily ended up smoking drugs on the and pregnant.”  In speaking of the development of her own life goals, Meagan suggests,  “I think that a big difference for me has  also been having a supportive family.” For Alison, family.  “Family support brings you together as a  It makes you happy and positive about the future.”  Parental lack of support. While parental support was perceived as having a positive influence on the participant’s development and  123 pursuit of life goals, perceived lack of support, on the other hand, tended to be perceived as inhibiting of personal growth. As a result, parental lack of support for the young person’s initiative and independent decision making often created feelings of guilt, resentment,  anger,  and low self—confidence. The majority of participants perceived some parental lack of support during their lives and experiences with one or both of their parents. Anne describes her experience with her mother: She’s not really supportive of me.. .like when I was leaving home she tried to keep me there...and with my education,  I think she’s jealous because she wanted  to go to university and it never worked out. That’s why she hasn’t been supportive. The result for Anne was a sense of “guilt” about her ambitions and her vocational goals. Without the support of her grandparents, she is unsure whether she would have felt motivated to further her education. Trevor perceives a lack of parental support for his decision to pursue a career in physiotherapy,  as this goal  would require seven years of schooling. He is thus sceptical about his parents’ reaction if he gets into physiotherapy school in the future. He suggests, pretty much of a let—down. My mom will say,  “It’ll be  ‘Oh no! You’re  going to be in school for a couple of more years!  124 Perceived lack of support for his goals has thus undermined his confidence. He explains,  “It’ll be an  uphill fight having these external forces working against me.  It would feel good to have their support. .but I’m  trying to keep a positive outlook.” Nancy also feels that her mother’s lack of support for her decision to become an engineer affected her selfconfidence: She didn’t support my decision because doesn’t believe that women can be mechanical.  .  .  so I guess I  sort of had doubts about whether I was mechanical or not.  It kind of confirmed it for me because that was  the way she saw it. For Sara,  lack of support from her father created  anger and resentment towards him: .when I would complain about my job he would say, ‘Well you know what you have to do’. And now that I ‘m in school,  and I’m doing quite well, when I told him  what I got, he was like,  ‘Well,  that’s nice.’  really bummed me out because I thought he would have been supportive! As put forth by Anne in her experience with lack of parental support (described above),  Sara feels that  support gained from other caregivers, her sisters, has kept her “on track and working toward her goals” despite the lack of support she received from her father.  125 The experience of a lack of parental support for the participant’s ability to make independent decisions often led to their feeling “restricted” with regard to personal growth. Angela,  for example,  speaks of her mother’s  “overconcern” for her: She worries about me too much and it keeps me from completely enjoying the things I want to enjoy. They go away a lot and they come back and she says,  ‘Oh,  you shouldn’t be doing that.’, and I always say, ‘It’s amazing how I can manage on my own. How do I do it?’.. .It was a guilt trip, and at the time I felt really held back by it. I wish they had more support for my ability to know what’s best for me. They are going to have to let me grow up sometime! Anne perceives a similar feeling with regard to her mother’s “guilt trips”: She sees me doing a lot of things, and I think she’s a bit jealous.  So she lays a lot of guilt trips and I  find them very restricting. It’s been hard for me to follow through with the things I want to do because she doesn’t provide much support. Tricia describes her experience in the following way: My mom was really naive.  So she ended up restricting  me from doing the things that were natural at my age— -she didn’t support the things I wanted to do,  like  dating and wearing make-up. And feeling restricted  126 made me rebellious.. .It’s been like I’ve been being pushed to be an individual, but at the same time I haven’t been allowed to be. Communication. The impact of “open” and “closed” communication with parents is discussed by several participants. Where “open” communication exists,  relationships with parents are  experienced as “close”. Likewise, where communication with parents is considered “closed”, relationships tend to be experienced as “distant”. Julia describes her father as valuing,  “family,  openness, and honesty...he’s guided me the most in my ability to talk.” Her relationship with her father is thus described as “supportive” and “close”. Her mother, however is described as,  “socially inert——she can’t emotionally  talk.” Their relationship is described as “strained”. Angela suggests that her relationships with both her mother and father have “always been close.” With regard to their ability to communicate,  she asserts that “they have  always been easy to talk to.” Meagan describes an incident with her father during which she rebelled against his “harsh rules”. When he encouraged her to talk openly about “what was going on” following this incident, Meagan explains that she felt “supported” and “listened to.” She goes on to suggest that being able to communicate with her parents has been a  127  positive influence in her life: Definitely having close family ties, and being able to just talk things out when there was a problem. think that was really influential.  I  It held our family  together. Just being an open and honest family helped a lot. Brad describes his relationships with both parents as “excellent”. He suggests that this has largely to do with his parents’  support of open communication:  They’re just really open. Always open. dad,  .  .because my  if something is bothering him, he’ll tell me.  I’m doing something wrong, he lets it out.  If  Same with  my mom. And they’ve always encouraged us to be open with them as well. Alison also describes her relationship with her mother as “close” and “supportive”. experience,  she suggests,  Elaborating on this  “We talk openly all the time  about trust and relationships and stuff like that..  .“  Anne perceives that her mother’s “inability” to communicate has strained their relationship: Well,  it’s kind of interesting because she has often  expected me to just know the things she wanted done, and it was sort of like I had to read her mind. doesn’t communicate very well.  She  She doesn’t listen.  She hears well when she wants to listen, but when she doesn’t want to listen,  forget it. That caused a lot  128 of fights right there. Poor communication,  in this case, eventually leads to  rebellion: We didn’t have good communication.  She was a single  mother and so she yelled at me a lot to get it out-her anger and frustration, and I had to take it all. And when I stopped wanting to take it was when I started yelling back. Through her experiences with her mother, Anne has learned of the importance of open communication,  and has  therefore incorporated this value into her family goals: Yelling isn’t good. Communication is very important. I’ve decided that I want a very strong, very loving family because growing up——even now I can’t touch my mother, because we grew so far apart because she never hugged or kissed me like a parent would.  .  .1  want to have a very affectionate family, one that communicates before they get to the stage of yelling. Parental transmission of values. All participants experienced their parents as having tried to encourage particular interests, values, goals in the participants’  lives.  and/or  In turn, this experience  either led to the participants’ rejecting the particular interest, value,  or goal in question, or their accepting  it as important in their lives.  It should be noted that  while the encouragement of particular values and goals by  129  one’s parents was experienced by all participants, the perception that this encouragement reflected parental expectations was not. Parental expectations will be discussed in an ensuing section. Tricia describes her father’s strong work ethic,  and  his encouragement of this particular value: He’s always been a really hard worker,  and the belief  he’s always tried to encourage in us is that it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we do it at our best possible effort..  .  as long as we like our job and  we do it well. She comes to incorporate this value into her own life.  She states,  “. .  .and I’ve been a hard worker ever  since I can remember.” Nancy,  on the other hand, describes her father’s  encouragement of her pursuing marriage and family goals rather than focusing on educational and vocational goals. This encouragement reflects a goal that she eventually rejects: My dad felt that life didn’t begin until you had children. He would always try to encourage me to leave school and have a family by always pointing fingers at older, unmarried women,  and he would say,  ‘You know if women spend all of the time in school they don’t have kids and then they regret it later’.. .but I think I can do both, and I want to  130 have the education... Alison describes her own acceptance of her mother’s emphasis on the importance of family support,  “My parents  have always encouraged having family support, especially my mom.  .  .  I ‘ye realized how important family can be.  It’s  very important to me now.” She also speaks of her mother’s “constant reminders” about happiness, always said,  “My mom always encouraged happiness.  She  ‘Be happy in life.”  In speaking of her own career goals, Alison identifies the values that are important to her, which include this value encouraged by her mother,  “I want to  have a fulfilling life.. .1 think it’s important to do the things that make you happy. Put work in with family and-just anything that makes you happy.” In outlining the influences in her life with regard to her educational goals, Anne states, always encouraged education,  “My grandparents  especially my grandfather.  It  was very important to him.” Similarly, Sara describes the influence of the sister that raised her,  “She had a really big influence on me,  and she is really concerned about being successful in life,  and she tried to encourage school as an important  goal for me as I was growing up.” Although this goal is initially rejected by Sara in her early career development,  she has come to accept it as  131 an important step in reaching her goal of becoming a teacher. Colleen also speaks of her mother’s encouragement of educational goals.  She explains,  “She tried to encourage  education as important for my future.  She was the kind of  person who taught me how to go through the university calendars.” Such goals were initially rejected by Colleen upon completion of high school, however were incorporated into her life four years later. Julia speaks of her mother’s attempts to influence her sex role values. kind of.  .  She states,  “She tried to encourage  .fulfilling social roles as a wife.  She’s from  the old country, where you get your husband a drink--being a good wife, this value,  I guess.” She describes her own rejection of “I think it’s backlashed me.  It’s made me more  feminist in a sense.” Angela explains how she feels her mother’s encouragement of “helping” has played a part in the development of her career goals: My mom’s the nurturing one. loving and caring.  She taught me how to be  She always encouraged being there  for friends. And so I’m always there for everyone.. .my  mom was always that type of person  too——volunteering and always being there——a helping person.  So since I grew up with that encouragement,  feel I have something to give back to others. And  I  132 going onto nursing, you’re giving your care to I have something to give other people that  others.  are less fortunate than me. Pressure. Parental transmissions of particular values and goals were occasionally viewed by participants as “expectations”, or in other words, values and goals that were not to be questioned. Because these expectations were often contrary to their own values and/or goals, participants experienced feeling “pressured” to live up to them.  This pressure resulting from a lack of desire,  or a  perceived inability to live up to parental expectations often resulted in rebellion on the part of the (which in turn often led to verbal conflicts  participants  between parent and adolescent), undermined self— confidence,  and/or created a fear of parental  disappointment when the participants tried to assert personal values and goals that were contrary to parental expectations. Colleen describes her experience struggling with her father’s educational expectations, and her eventual rebellion: I left highschool when I graduated,  and in my family  it’s kind of expected that when you finish you go to university...My father places a big demand on intellect and achieving higher,  so I felt the  133 pressure. It wasn’t vicious pressure or anything but there was pressure, and so I rebelled and said,  ‘No’.  I wasn’t going to go until I was ready to go. In response to a question dealing with how she perceives her parents feel about the goals she has set for herself, Julia comments,  “...My mom expects me to go to  UBC next year rather than SFU because it’s a little more prestigious.  I think she thinks I really screwed up last  year with school and so I don’t know.  ..“  The experience of pressure has affected her self— confidence.  She states,  best university, well.  .  “The pressure to get into only the .1 wish I hadn’t screwed up last  year. Then I could have gone straight to UBC.  I hope I do  better this year.” Meagan describes an incident during which she rebelled against her father’s expectations,  “My father had  all of these rules that we were kind of pressured to follow and I just wanted to live my own life.” Her response to this pressure was indicated by the following statements: It made me kind of rebellious. It made me more likely to do what they didn’t want me to do.  I wanted to  prove to them that I was capable of taking care of myself...When I rebelled, that’s when I began to follow my own values. Anne describes her dealing with her grandfather’s  134 expectations about her educational goals,  “It’s very  important, especially for my grandfather,  for me to get an  education.. .he’s kind of expecting me to go on in biology because he strongly believes that we came out of apes and stuff like that.” She goes on to detail her reactions to this expectation, which included a fear of disappointing her grandfather: The pressure made it very difficult for me because I don’t believe in the idea that we came out of apes.  I  believe in the religious one. And so I didn’t tell him that I had to drop out of biology because I couldn’t handle it. And I hope I don’t have to tell him because he’d be really disappointed. She describes her reaction to the pressure resulting from parental expectations in general as a form of “rebellion”: At first I was very quiet, and went along with it. Then during my teenage years I came out of my shell and kind of rebelled. And I’ve become very strong— willed.  If I don’t think it’s the right thing, then I  don’t do it. Colleen speaks of the pressure she felt from the sister that raised her: •  .  .  she is really concerned about being successful in  life, and she pushed that on me as I grew up.  .  .  she  135 expected us to hang around with the best friends and you know, princes and princesses, and get the best jobs and be top rate at everything. She set very high standards for me that were difficult to achieve. She describes her reaction as a form of rebellion: I just didn’t do it at all,  I just didn’t want to  hear about it anymore.. .1 think there was some rebellion in there.  I finally had to move out here to  relax and move around a bit.  I could then get myself  into doing the things I wanted to do,  like school,  and I enjoy it. And I think that’s because the pressure was lifted off me. Colleen asserts that in looking back on her teenage years,  she sees that the pressure to succeed adversely  affected her self—esteem: At the time I didn’t feel good about it. feel strong enough to say,  I didn’t  “They can think what they  want and feel what they want, but this is how I feel now.” At the time I was thinking,  “God,  I have to get  there (to university), but I’m just too dumb to do it!” Trevor suggests that he continues to experience considerable pressure from his mother to finish school as quickly as possible and find a job. The expectation to find a “quick,  secure job”, goes contrary to his own  desire to “make the right career choice”:  136 She really puts the pressure on...she wants me to finish school as soon as possible, get all of my courses right away, do this,  this and that...even  though I don’t know what I’m doing still.  I don’t  know what I want! Like Colleen describes in her narrative, Trevor perceives the pressure from his parents as having affected his self—confidence. He suggests,  “They’ve added stress, I  would think. They seem to be making me more nervous about what I’m going to be doing and stuff.  It’s like do-or-die  time!” Tricia also describes her struggle with the expectations of her mother, done a certain way,  “She expected things to be  and I just couldn’t do anything right.  So I left home because I couldn’t handle it-—I couldn’t handle all the pressure.” Parents want what’s best for their children. Evaluations of the relationships between the participants and their parents varied considerably between participants. Looking retrospectively at parental influence in general, however, participants shared the belief that on the whole, their parents wanted what was best for them. Despite a “distant” relationship with her mother, example, Tricia confides, me •“  for  “They both want what’s best for  137 With regard to the goals she has set for herself, Alison shares a similar feeling: She wants what’s best for me. She thinks that teaching will be good for me cause I’m not good in sciences...I thought I would love languages, and she said that she  was happy that I found something that  I loved. Anne struggled with guilt due to the perceived lack of support from her mother for her educational goals. Nonetheless,  she suggests,  “She lays a lot of guilt trips,  but I think she still wants what’s best for me--she wants me to succeed because I am her daughter.” Meagan re—evaluates a previous incident with her father that generated negative affect at the time,  “...1  guess they were just trying to look out for me. Parents always want what’s best for their children.” Angela speaks of this theme with regard to her previous relationships,  “They were always right. And I  know now that they just wanted what was best for me,  even  though at the time I didn’t listen to them.” Autonomy is necessary for growth. Several participants asserted that despite the belief that parental influence was strong, they themselves had needed to go through a process of independent learning before being able to settle on career goals. Angela,  for  example, describes an experience with her parents during  138 which she suggests: We were fighting about a couple of boyfriends that I brought home.  It was just a stage in my life, but  they were telling me that these guys weren’t right for me.  They were right.  .  .they’ve always been right  about stuff like that. But I’ve had to find that out for myself, to grow and learn from my mistakes. Also describing a poor relationship in the past and her sister’s suggestions that she end it,  Sara confides:  All of the things that she was saying about him were true. He wasn’t the greatest person for me, but I had to find that out in my own time,  and I totally needed  that experience because it showed me what I want and don’t want in a relationship.  .  .  for my own self,  I  think it helped. With regard to her decision to enter college, Julia suggests,  “She was right, and I’m glad I’m going to  school, but it had to be my decision to come, and I had to figure that out in my own time.” Colleen also speaks about her experience with her mother’s suggestions that she continue her schooling: It was important for me to stop and find something that I actually cared to learn before I went back to school to learn it. And then I worked for awhile,  and  had been thinking about going into theatre, and I had to go through all sorts of things like that.  .  .my mom  139 bent over backwards to help me through school, but in the end it had to be my choice to come here. Similarly, Meagan asserts,  “My father had all of  these rules to follow, but I had to find my own way in life, to figure out what was right for me.” a similar experience, being a live-in nanny,  Anne suggest  “She always wanted me to go into she didn’t understand that I had to  figure out what was right for me.” Participants understand parental points of view. As previously suggested, struggles or conflicts with parents over career values and goals were commonly discussed occurrences in the retrospective narratives of the participants in this study. Despite such experiences, several participants also state that they have come to understand the origins parental behaviour, expectations.  feelings and  In other words, these participants suggest  that influences in their parents’ own lives have an indirect influence on their lives and their relationships with their parents. Parental expectations, for example, were often understood as stemming from their parents’ desire for their children to have a better life than they did.  Such understanding of parental points of view was  commonly followed by statements of acceptance of past parental behaviours and expectations that were once perceived as restricting, and/or acceptance of parent/participant value differences in these narratives.  140 Colleen speaks of her understanding of her father’s “isolation”: He’s extremely intelligent. My understanding is that as a child he was very bright and musically very talented and linguistically talented and all this stuff. But by the time I knew him as a father he wouldn’t speak a word of French or play the piano because I know the kinds of things in his life that have dampened each one of those things.  So he just  became an intelligent person that didn’t have much patience with people less intelligent than him,  and  very socially isolated. She has come to accept her father’s emphasis on “intellect” and his desire for isolation despite her struggles with these values in the past.  She asserts,  “I’ve had to come to accept that this is just his nature. 1 may not have agreed with some of his expectations but I had to learn to make my own decisions.” Sara describes her understanding and acceptance of her father’s abandonment when she was 12 years old: And my relationship with my dad now--he doesn’t do anything to contact any of us.  If we never did  anything to contact him, then he would never contact us. But I can accept our relationship now because I understand what my dad went through and how he feels now. He obviously feels a lot of shame around that,  141 and so I will always seek out my dad. Meagan asserts her understanding of her parents “push” for her to pursue post—secondary education: .they grew up around World War One or whatever,  and  so they’re really old-fashioned. They never got the chance,  as we do today, to fully educate themselves.  So that’s a really strong issue for them, you know, “You’ve got this opportunity,  if you want to use it.”  Angela details her understanding and eventual acceptance of her mother’s concern about her travelling in the past,  concern that at one time left Angela feeling  very “restricted” in her development as an individual: She worried when I was travelling and stuff, but I think that’s just part of being a parent. And I know that it’s not that she didn’t trust me, other people might do that worried her.  it was what .  .1 don’t  think her worries were necessary, but I know that’s just the way she is...So, the things that she agrees with and I don’t, then that’s just a part of life. Anne gives her understanding of the reasons for her mother’s “jealousy” and lack of support for her educational and vocational goals: Her and her mother didn’t get along very well either, so she was the first born and my grandparents were very strict with her.  So when she got out into the  world she went kind of wild.  It seems to me that she  142 was resentful and so she went out and kind of messed up her life a little bit.  She first had a marriage  that didn’t work out and then she had three children when she was single.  .  .A lot of things haven’t worked  out for her. She goes on to state her eventual acceptance of her mother’s feelings and behaviour despite having felt its negative effects on her own development in the past: She shouldn’t have treated me the way she did sometimes, but as you grow up you see what your parents had to go through.  So, even though she may  not have brought us up the right way,  she had a lot  of problems, and she was just taking her frustration out on me.  I didn’t like it at the time, but I’ve  learned to accept it. Julia mentions her understanding and acceptance of her mother’s unemotional nature, a trait that left Julia feeling very unsupported as a child after she was sexually abused by a relative: My mom can’t——she has to be secure in every sense of the word, because of the way she’s grown up. can’t emotionally talk. person.  So,  she  She’s not a huggy kind of  She talks about politics, not feelings. Our  relationship has been pretty strained, but I’ve just had to learn to accept that she’s so unemotional, you know.  143 Personal learning from a parent’s life experiences. The majority of participants suggest that their development and establishment of career values and goals have been influenced by their parents’ experiences.  Sara,  for example,  own life  describes the learning she  has acquired from her sisters’ experiences in trying to raise her: I think I’ve realized that you have to have goals and you have to meet them, and financially you have to be comfortable. Obviously for my sisters it was difficult sometimes. I think it drives me to work harder to succeed,  so that I don’t end up in a  position where I’m lost or something. Responding to a question dealing with the influences she perceives as having affected her decision to attend college, Julia suggests: Well,  I guess maybe my mom’s experience having to  take accounting by correspondence while trying to raise four kids.  She had a hard past, and she wasn’t  able to go to university right away. With regard to her goals for marriage and family, Angela asserts: My mom is really dependent on our family,  and I don’t  think it’s healthy, and it causes her a lot of stress.  I’ve seen my mom go through it and all the  problems she’s had, and so I don’t want to fall into  144 the same trap when I get married and have a family. Two examples of learning from a parent’s life experiences are provided by Meagan. The first example has to do with her experience of such an influence on her educational goals. She suggest,  “They’ve both been through  a university establishment and I just basically see the prosper from their lives maybe that has led me to this pathway.” The second example relates to her personal goals for marriage: I’ve realized that if I go out there and if I find “Mr. Right”--I’ve seen through their lives that it’s been hard for them. My parents’ marriage has always been rocky, but I guess they’re old—fashioned and they don’t believe in splitting up, an issue for me.  so that’s become  I don’t want to think about the  possibility of divorce. Alison also provides examples of the experience of personal learning from her mother’s life experiences. explains,  “She’s gone through a lot.  She  It’s been hard for  her working and trying to raise a family at the same time. So,  I think it’s important to have more of a balance in  life.” With regard to marriage and family goals,  she goes on  to suggest that her mother’s experiences in this regard have also been influential:  145 Divorce has had an influence, cause it’s hard to trust people. You’re always weary whether you want to marry or not,  just because you think it’s going to  end in divorce. You’ll end up unhappy,  just like your  mom. Parent/child relationships change over time. Several participants discuss their experiences with changes that have occurred for the better in their relationships with one or both parents within the past couple of years. Most of these same participants further suggest that the transformations that have been experienced have coincided with their own goal setting behaviour. Anne,  for example, has noticed a change in her  relationship with her mother since she moved away from home.  She explains,  “I had to get out,  and that’s why I  moved out right after graduation. We get along okay now when we see each other...It hasn’t always been, but we’re getting closer”. Meagan has also noticed a change in her relationship with her father: One thing I’ve really noticed lately is that when I was in junior secondary school, my father and I were like milk and water. We just did not mix...But I’ve noticed that as soon as I’ve started to take this initiative (going back to school), he’s starting to treat me as more of an adult. Our relationship has  146  gotten much better. It’s kind of mended, you could  say. So I think that definitely for me to pursue something has strengthened our relationship. Similarly, Angela suggests: My parents have changed over the past couple of years. They used to be very protective of me, but they’ve gone away a lot and left me alone. And I think I’ve shown them that I’m responsible, and they’ve really loosened up on a lot of things, which is great. Julia describes a transformation in her relationships with both her mother and her father: Well, to begin with, he was on a huge pedestal. No one could say anything bad about him.  It’s just been  these past couple of years he’s been at my level. can relate to him a lot better.  I  I can see him as more  what he is now and not just a great,  incredible dad.  The change in her relationship with her mother stems from her acceptance of her mother’s qualities that were once perceived as unsupportive and restricting. suggests,  She  “It’s been pretty strained, because we used to  have these huge fights.  .  .but we’ve gotten closer again.  I’ve just had to accept that she’s unemotional...” Colleen has also noticed that a change in her relationship with her mother transpired after she finally made the decision to go back to school:  147 Now I’m able to talk to my mother about my career goals.  I guess she is relieved that I finally have  some. We talk about them a lot. career change herself,  She’s going through a  so we talk about schools and  how to find information, whereas before,  I kind of  shut her out of what I was doing. The above examples are provided by participants who suggest that changes in their relationships with their parents have occurred for the better. One participant, however,  suggests that while such a transformation in her  relationship with her mother has not occurred,  she is  hopeful that one day it will. This example is provided by Tricia: I hope that someday I will be able to talk to her and confide in her in a way,  even if I can’t confide  totally anymore. Right now though,  she’s still not  the first person I run to tell things to. Commitment. The participants in the current study indicated varying degrees of commitment to at least one particular career goal or value at the time of their individual interviews.  Sara,  for example, asserts:  I’ve decided what I want to do and I definitely know what I want to do and I definitely know what goals I have in store for myself.. .they aren’t something I’m willing to compromise.  148 In discussing goals for herself, Meagan states,  “I  definitely would like to get a Masters in psychology and maybe open up my own practice someday.” Anne details the specific values that would be realized through her career goals: •  .  .  I want to eventually go into a teaching program at  the University of Calgary.  .  .  I thought teaching would  be a good job to go into because I enjoy children and I think it would be challenging. of B. C.,  .  .1 want to get out  first of all because it’s expensive to go  to school here.  It’s also too crowded and I hate  being crowded. Similarly, Julia describes her goals, teacher,  “ be a  and get married, probably to the guy I’m going  out with.. .And I wouldn’t mind living in Richmond and having kids...” Colleen clearly defines her goals: What I see is spending about a year in daycare and then looking toward having my own children.  So I’ll  probably spend another year in daycare, but also pregnant. And then I’d like to stay home for awhile.  .  .  then I may go back to daycare,  or go and  write children’s books or something perhaps out of the workforce.  I’ll keep going in this field until  its been enough for me-—it’s personally intensive. Angela asserts her goals for vocation and family:  149 I’m going into nursing and I’m starting in September.  .  .1 want to have a family, but I don’t want  to have it now.  I want to travel and live my life,  get everything done that I want to do and then think about having a family. Alison succinctly states her own career goals, planning to go to SFU, majoring in French.  .  .  “I’m  and I’m going into linguistics and  I want to be a teacher in French or  Spanish.” Like the participants just described, Brad indicates some commitment to a particular career goal, however, unlike these individuals, he does not indicate the same intensity of commitment. For example, at one point in his narrative, he suggests,  “I’d like to swim,  and if I’m not  able to swim I’d like to coach swimming. And then I’d like to be head coach five years down the road”. However, he also indicates at another point in his narrative,  “I’ve  been in kind of a rut lately and I’m not sure what I want to do.. .I’m not goal—centred right now.” In three narratives, participants indicate a relative lack of commitment to career goals. Trevor,  for example,  despite his decision to “try out” physiotherapy, Really,  states:  I’m at a crossroads. .I’m still trying to get  my feet wet in terms of what I want to do and what the rest of my life means to me I guess.. .I’ve been very confused for about the last two years and I’ve  150 changed my mind many times and Ive also considered not going to school too, because I’m not sure what I want to do still. Tricia asserts her desire to form goals and to commit to them,  “I want to have goals and be able to reach them.”  Upon being asked a question about her career goals, Nancy similarly suggests,  “Well,  I’m not actually sure  yet. At one point I was thinking about engineering, but now I don’t think so.  ..“  It is important to note that while this theme was not directly linked by participants to the experience of parental influence on career development in their narratives,  it is included as an important theme  associated with identity formation process as adhered to in this study. Confidence in success. All participants experienced some degree of confidence that they will reach their goals. Eight participants describe a high level of confidence that they will succeed in reaching their goals: Julia, Alison, and Anne, Meagan,  for example, all state,  for now,  “I know I will”, and  Colleen, and Angela suggest,  confident.” Brad explains that,  Sara,  “I’m pretty  “My goals may change,  but  I’m confident.” As suggested earlier in the  description of parental support as an experienced influence,  all of these participants agree that parental  151 support contributes to their level of confidence in reaching their goals.  Colleen, for example,  states,  “I’m  pretty confident...especially if my parents are not hindering variables...” Meagan suggests,  “I’m pretty confident,  especially  with the support of my family.” Similarly, Angela suggests,  “My family’s really supportive,  so I’m pretty  confident.” The remaining three participants indicate a lesser degree of confidence: Trevor suggests, think I’ll be okay”; Nancy, decisions”; Tricia,  “I’m hoping, but I  “I’m hopeful, once I make some  “I’m pretty hopeful, once I eventually  set some goals.” Although these three participants make mention of the perceived benefits from parental support in their lives  (as described earlier), they make no explicit  mention of a connection between family support and confidence in reaching goals. Personal responsibility for success. Despite the recognition that parental support would be instrumental in reaching life goals, the majority of participants also experience the personal responsibility required in order to be successful. Angela asserts, example,  for  “I’ve always been one that when I want something,  I’ll get it done, or I’ll do it. If I’ve got the motivation then I’ll get it done.. .and I have the motivation.”  152 Colleen suggests: I’m a real planner, and my plans are usually quite accurate. So I’m pretty confident about what I’ve set out for myself for the next three to five years. And it’s up to me whether my planning works out. With regard to her goal of eventually pursuing advanced education in psychology, Meagan states,  “I really  think that a lot of my confidence comes from my own drive and desire for it.” Anne explains that for her to reach her goals,  “My  grandparents will be there and my mother will be there, but ultimately it will have to be me that gets me there.” Similarly, Julia explains, something else,  “I can’t imagine my self doing  so I’ll get myself there.”  Summary Several themes relating to the experience of parental influence on career development are evident in the narratives of the 11 participants in this investigation. While parental influence tended to be regarded as “subtle” by the majority of participants,  it appears to have  manifested itself in the parent/child relationships in a variety of ways. Parental support,  one theme observed in  all 11 narratives, was found to have a positive influence on participant confidence and motivation in establishing and working toward life goals. Parental support for independent decision making was further experienced as  153 facilitating the development of autonomy, which in turn was experienced as fundamental in personal growth and the pursuit of career goals. Parental support was also often experienced in families where open communication and the open expression of thoughts and feelings was encouraged. The experience of a lack of parental support for the participants’ abilities to make independent decisions and for specific career decisions,  on the other hand, was  experienced as restricting of the participants’ development of personal values and in their movement toward life goals.  In those incidents where a lack of  parental support was perceived, participants also often describe their experience of having struggled with low self—confidence and low self—esteem,  and/or with pressure  resulting from parental expectations. As previously mentioned, communication in family relationships was commonly associated with the experience of support and/or lack of support from parents and also with the experience of “close” versus “distant” parents/child relationships. Parents were universally experienced as having attempted to encourage particular values and goals in their children.  These values and goals were either  rejected by the participants in the past,  or they were  incorporated into the young person’s set of personal career values and goals. Where parental values and goals  154 were experienced as “expectations”, participants commonly described feeling “pressured” to follow career paths that were often contrary to their own values and goals.  In such  cases, parents were thus experienced as an influence to be struggled against in order to assert one’s preferred values and goals. This struggle often took the form of verbal conflict with one or both parents, and was often labelled by participants as a form of “rebellion”. Despite value differences with parents in the participants’ pasts, the majority recognize retrospectively, that their parents had wanted what was best for the participants’  own lives. Nonetheless, most of  these same participants assert that in order for them to have come to this realization, and in order for them to have discovered their own preferred values and goals, they had needed to be able to experience independent decision making and learning from their own mistakes.  Several  participants state that they have come to understand the origins of their parents’ values and goals; they have therefore come to understand and accept those behaviours and expectations of their parents that had once been experienced as restricting of independent growth. With this acceptance,  and with the establishment of their own  career goals, this same group of participants indicated experiencing a positive change their relationship with their parents.  155 While family support was often experienced as being instrumental in the pursuit of life goals,  the majority of  participants also realize the importance of their own role in successfully reaching career goals. Associations With Identity Status With regard to observed associations between experiences of parental influence on career development and identity status classifications, evident.  For instance,  several patterns are  only those participants who are  high scoring in Identity Achievement indicate having reached the stage of recognizing the need for independent learning  (autonomy)  for the realization of personal values  and goals. These same participants are also the only individuals who indicate an understanding and acceptance of past parental behaviours and expectations in their narratives. Further, they are the only individuals who suggest an awareness of a positive change in their relationships with one or both parents since establishing a commitment to personal values and goals  (the one example  of experiencing “hope” that such a change will occur is expressed in the narrative of a participant of Moratorium status). These themes are not only experienced solely in the Identity Achieved youth, but they are observed universally in the narratives of this group of participants. Another pattern that was observed involved the  156 narratives of those participants who were high scoring in Identity Diffusion. These two narratives evidenced an explicit lack of rebellion and/or conflict with parents. Parents were not perceived as unsupportive at any time in the recounted incidents of these two participants. The perceived “pressure” from parental expectations that was observed in the remaining nine narratives was absent here. These were the only two narratives in which parental influence was completely accepted without question. Discussion about the experience of “open” versus “closed” communication with parents the effects on one’s career development and one’s relationships with one or both parents is provided only by participants representing Identity Achieved and Identity Diffused statuses. In other words, Moratorium youth did not discuss communication as an influence on their lives and their career development. Variability in committing to career values and goals as well as in the level of confidence in successfully reaching career goals may also be attributable to identity status differences.  For example, those participants  classified as Identity Achieved indicate experiencing firm commitment to their established career goals.  Further,  they demonstrate clear awareness of the specific steps required to reach their chosen career goals. The six participants in this classification express a high level of confidence in their ability to successfully reach  157 career goals. Unlike the identity achieved participants, those classified as Moratorium status express very little, any,  if  commitment to career goals. They tend to describe  themselves as “directionless”, and/or stated career goals are expressed as “possibilities”, or “changeable”. All three participants of this classification are “hopeful” of successfully reaching career goals once they are established. Those participants classified as Identity Diffuse express a high level of confidence in successfully reaching career goals, and moderate to high level of commitment towards chosen goals. Despite the observed similarities with the experiences of the Identity Achieved participants, however, there is no stated evidence of experiencing autonomy and independence from parents as important for the development and pursuit of career goals. Demographic Information With regard to the demographic information collected prior to the administration of the identity status measure,  and possible associations with identity status,  only one pattern is evident. Nonetheless,  it adds support  to a particular finding/theme identified earlier in this chapter. This pattern involves participants’ ratings on a scale of one to seven of their certainty of pursuing the occupational choice they have currently decided upon  (if  158 such a decision has been made). The mean rating for Identity Achieved participants is 6.83  (n  6).  =  Moratorium participants this average is 4.33  (n  for Identity Diffuse participants,  2).  6.50  (n  =  For 3)  =  and  In  testing the hypothesis that certainty in current occupational choice would vary depending on one’s identity status,  a Kruskal—Wallis one—way analysis of variance was  applied to the rating scale scores. This test was deemed appropriate since there are three independent groups under study,  and thus a test for k independent groups is called  for. Further, rating scale scores represent at least ordinal measurement of certainty of current occupational choice. The Kruskal-Wallis test suggests that certainty in current occupational choice does vary significantly with identity status in the current investigation, H (2, N 11)  =  6.45,  p  <  =  .05. This finding supports earlier  indications that both Identity Achieved and Identity Diffuse participants expressed greater commitment to vocational career goals in their narratives. As with the chi square analysis described earlier, there was no predetermined alpha level associated with the application of this test.  159 CHAPTER FIVE Discussion In this research, structural, statistical,  and  phenomenological approaches were used to answer the question,  “Is there a relationship between identity status  classifications and narrative structures with respect to experiences of parental influence on career development?” Bringing in the specific research questions stated in the first chapter of this paper, through the identification and evaluation of critical incidents, the structural approach addresses how the young adults in this study experience the influence of their parents in their lives and whether they experience their parents as having been helpful or harmful to their pursuit of life goals. Both structural and statistical analyses address the question of whether individuals of differing identity status structure narratives of parental influence differently. Finally, both structural and phenomenological approaches address whether common themes relating to the experience of parental influence exist in the narratives of the participants of this study,  and whether these themes are found to be  associated with a particular identity status. Questions associated with whether the narratives show evidence of “crisis points” and “commitment” as Marcia’s identity status paradigm would suggest, by these two methods.  (1966)  are also addressed  160 It is important to recognize that both the identity status classifications and the narrative structures that are the focus of this investigation are not fixed or static. As each participant moves through his or her life clarifying and modifying personal values and goals, progression to,  and/or regression from a particular  identity status seems imminent. Further, different interpretations of how parental influence plays a part in the individual’s current life story may emerge over time. Taking into account the dynamic nature of these variables then, the personal narratives recounted here stand as the narrator’s significant interpretations of parental So, the  influence at a specific point in their lives.  relation between narratives of parental influence and identity status would vary depending on the particular point in time the adolescents were asked to participate in this investigation. along with  At one level, the three narrative types,  the predominant themes associated with the experience of parental influence identified in this study provide further understanding of the role of parental influence in the lives and careers of young people. The narrative types lend support to the work of Young et al.  (in press)  in that they  clearly resemble three of five structures of narratives of parental influence put forth by these investigators. Like the structures described in the Young et al.  study, the  161 three types identified here represent variations of Gergen (1986) progressive narrative type in that  and Gergen’s  participants all identify themselves as moving toward career goals.  Even where goals are vague, participants  identify potential goals for themselves, or goals that they are currently “trying out”.  It should be noted that such a  progression does not necessarily represent the young person’s positive evaluation of their parents’ role in their lives.  In this study, progression toward goals is  constructed through a struggle with parental influence, and in some cases, through an extension of parental influence. These findings are supportive of those of Moriarty and Toussieng (1976),  in their empirical study of adolescents  based on an Eriksonian viewpoint. They found that some participants in their study “quietly adopted” parental standards without question whereas others tended to modify parental viewpoints on the basis of their own sensory intake. The progressive nature of all 11 narratives further supports the notion that individuals have a need to construct their lives as success stories cited in Young et al.,  (Goffman,  in press). Young et al.  1961,  (in press)  suggest that this need is intensified by the socially constructed developmental tasks expected of older adolescents and young adults such as entering an occupation,  finding a life partner, and living  162 independently of parents. This suggestion may explain the “unexpected” finding in the current investigation associated with the participants classified as Identity Diffuse, who identified clear goals in their interviews definition,  (by  identity diffusion involves a lack of  commitment to career goals).  In other words, the Identity  Diffuse participants in this study may have provided “socially desirable” responses to interview questions about their career goals, despite the uncertainty about career goals identified in the identity status measure. Both statistical and qualitative measures indicate a relationship between identity status classifications and the experience of parental influence on career development (as identified through narrative structure and phenomenological analyses). While the limitations associated with statistical analysis utilizing a small sample size are recognized, the significant result reported adds support to observed associations identified through qualitative means. The narrative method utilized in this study provides a novel approach to the study of the identity status paradigm. The narratives of Identity Achieved and Moratorium participants, all classified as either “progressive with negatively evaluated stages”, or “progressive with a dramatic turning point”, describe struggles with parental influence at one or more points in  163 each individual’s life that could easily be termed “crisis points”. The exploratory nature of such struggles, or crises,  is often identified by participants as involving  their own rebellion against parental expectations, and/or rejection of parental values and goals.  In other words,  parental values and goals had been considered and then either rejected by the participant or incorporated into their sense of self. With the Identity Achieved participants, purpose,  a clear  or personally desired life outcome was evident.  They played out the course of their lives by choosing among the options presented to them. With the Moratorium participants the discovering of a personally desired life outcome through the weighing of alternatives is current; the process is not yet complete. This finding lends support to results from previous research on identity formation that suggest a strong relationship between exploratory activity and the Achieved and Moratorium statuses (e.g., Blustein et al.,  1989). This finding is consistent with  recent research suggesting that for Identity Achieved individuals exploratory activity has occurred in the past, whereas those in Moratorium are currently experiencing the struggle or crisis (e.g., Waterman,  1985). Like the  narratives of Identity Achieved participants, however, those provided by Moratorium individuals indicate a positive outlook on life and toward the eventual attainment  164 of goals  (Waterman,  1985).  In this study then, struggles with parental values and goals were observed to be instrumental in the young person’s process of differentiation from parents. This finding supports Erikson’s (1968)  assertion that identity  formation requires a certain amount of rebellion and/or rejection of parental ideas. Further, that,  “expressions of  separateness demonstrate the adolescent’s ability to define a sense of self as distinctive from others.” Cooper et al.  (1984)  report a similar finding in their  study: Participants who were rated as high in exploration expressed higher levels of separateness from parents (through disagreements). The observation that Identity Achieved participants reported greater amounts of autonomy than the Moratorium and Identity Diffused participants (identified through the experience of autonomy being necessary for personal growth)  supports the findings of  research such as that put forth by Campbell et al.  (1984)  suggesting that Identity Achieved youth perceive the greatest independence from family. Results from this investigation support the notion that moderate amounts of conflict and the acceptance of disparate views on parent-young adult relationships can set the stage for the young person’s search for alternatives as he or she disagrees with his or her parents’ views.  It is  this searching process that theoretically leads to more  165 psychosocially advanced identity statuses 1989).  (Adams et al.,  The suggestion that families who are highly cohesive  may discourage exploration, thus inhibiting identity development  (Brown & Adams,  1985) was also supported in  this study through narrative interpretation of Identity Diffuse participants. The narratives of Identity Achieved youth further indicate strong commitment to particular career goals, whereas the narratives of Moratorium youth do not. These findings are consistent with Marcia’s (1966)  definitions of  Identity Achieved and Moratorium classifications within the identity status paradigm. As suggested previously,  some inconsistency with the  identity status paradigm was discovered in the narratives of Identity Diffuse participants. While these narratives were indicative of a lack of crisis or exploratory period (as suggested by the absence of a struggle with parental values and goals, as well as a lack of information gathering activities in the incidents recounted), they also portrayed the participants as having a moderate to strong commitment to vocational goals. Marcia’s  (1966)  So, these findings support  definition of Identity Diffusion with  regard to the absence of a “crisis” period, but they do not with respect to an absence of “commitment”. As such, these narratives would seem more likely to be associated with the Foreclosure status. This inconsistency may be due to the  166 fact that the identity status measure was given three weeks prior to the interviews. Possibly the EOMEIS-2 provoked some thought about individual goals that in turn stimulated progression to the Foreclosure status by the time of the interview. Alternatively,  as suggested earlier, these narratives  may have been influenced by social desirability responses by participants in their interviews true,  (however,  if this were  it would seem likely that moratorium youth would be  influenced in a similar fashion, yet this was not observed to be the case). A third possibility involves a weakness in the identity measure, the EOMEIS—2. However,  the measure’s  inability to distinguish between Identity Diffusion and Foreclosure has not been suggested in any of the previous research employing the EOMEIS-2. This inconsistency may also be viewed in light of a possibility raised by Archer (l989b,  cited in Vondracek,  1992),  in that for different  people, different domains of identity development may have the most salience. Thus, at any given point in time,  an  individual may be more advanced in their quest for Identity Achievement in one domain than in another.  Consequently,  the Identity Diffuse participants in this study may have been diffuse with respect to political and religious concerns, subscales,  and/or with respect to the interpersonal identity for example, but foreclosed with regard to  167 vocational choice  (despite using a broad definition of  “career” in this investigation, participants tended to discuss career goals with regard to the vocational domain). Finally,  this result may also be accounted for by the  assertion that “few pure Diffusion—status types are observed among healthy adolescent populations” al.,  (Adams et  1989). Nonetheless, due to this inconsistency,  findings with regard to the experience of parental influence and Identity Diffusion do not support many results of previous research. Unlike Cushing’s in Grotevant,  1983)  (1971, cited  finding that Diffused adolescents tend  to perceive their parents to be rejecting and withdrawing, for example, the Diffused participants in this study perceived their parents to be supportive and encouraging. Similarly, contrary to the finding provided by Campbell et al.  (1984)  that Diffused youth were the least emotionally  attached to their parents, relationships between the Diffused participants and their parents in the current investigation were experienced as “close” and “supportive.” However, the finding that the Identity Diffuse participants in this study focussed on goals set early in life without question supports the research of Blustein and Phillips  (1990) with regard to their suggestion that  Identity Diffuse and Foreclosed youth tend to utilize decision making strategies that exhibited a lack of information gathering activities.  168 Due to the small sample size and the relative absence of males participating in this study (2 of 11), no significant gender differences were found. Nonetheless, one observation is worth noting.  In their narratives,  female  participants as a whole spoke in terms of having considered marriage,  family,  and recreational  (e.g., travel)  goals,  whereas the male participants spoke solely in terms of vocational/occupational goals. This observation lends support to Gilligan’s  (1982)  suggestion that in adolescence  and young adulthood, males tend to focus on occupational identity issues and that females have a more clearly defined sense of interpersonal identity. Our finding that identity formation appears to be related to the experience that communication with one’s parents influences one’s career development supports Cooper et al.  (1984)  in their work with identity status and  dimensions of family communication. This is particularly true with regard to their suggestions that parental support of separateness,  independent decision making,  and open  expression of viewpoints are important for Identity Achievement. The Identity Achieved participants in this study similarly expressed the importance of open communication and open expression of thoughts and feelings in families,  for the development of an autonomous self.  Current research suggesting that adolescent development may be viewed in terms of a transformation of  169 the parent/adolescent relationship is supported by the finding that participants in this study who scored high in Identity Achievement experienced a positive change in their relationships with one or both parents, usually concurrently with the establishment and commitment to personal goals. Commitments may thus be important for perceptions of increased intimacy with parents Newcombe,  1990).  (Wienmann &  The finding that Identity Achieved  participants all at one time experienced struggles or conflicts with parents and then experienced a recent, positive change in their relationship with parents adds support for a similar pattern observed by Pipp et al. (1985)  in their study of adolescents’ perceptions of their  relationships with their parents: Decreased emotional closeness was perceived in the relationship through early adolescence and then an increase in the amount of closeness in late adolescence.  Similarly,  in their study of youth and  how they perceive experiences with parents, Moriarty and Toussieng (1976)  found that participants in their sample  described a rebellious period followed by an “emotionally serene” period, marked by the adolescents’ turning toward the world and avoiding alienation from parents. Results of the current investigation suggest that such a transformation occurs with the establishment and commitment to career goals and progression to the Achieved identity status.  170 Taken as a whole, the findings of this study lend support to the body of research cited earlier in this paper that suggests a relationship between identity status and perceptions of the family (e.g., functioning,  family influence,  family  family communication, etc.). More  specifically, this study supports work emphasizing that both connectedness (indicated through support, cohesiveness and acceptance)  and individuation from the family  (indicated through disagreements)  are important for the  exploration of career alternatives and in the development of a secure personal identity. While Identity Achieved participants expressed recognition of the need for autonomy in the development of personal goals, they also suggested that family support would facilitate the process of their reaching these goals. For both Identity Achieved and Moratorium participants, family support of independent decision making was experienced as encouraging the exploration of career alternatives  (even when parents were experienced as trying  to “subtly” encourage particular values and goals). Conversely, a lack of support from parents with regard to the young person’s ability to make independent decisions (usually resulting in confrontation between the young person and their parents) was experienced by these participants as restricting of autonomy, personal growth, and the exploration of alternatives. It seems apparent  171 then, that developmentally the issue is not only how we separate from oneness with our parents, but also how we connect with them. As such, the process of maturity may be an alternating state of connections and differentiation within the context of ongoing relationships with parents. The narrative approach establishes a relationship between a person’s past experiences and his or her engagements in the here—and—now. Reflecting on experience, then, narratives can be important tools for understanding one’s self in relation to others. The narratives of young adults interviewed in this study thus provide a context for discussing experiences with one’s parents and their influence on one’s career development process. The resulting narratives also provide a qualitative understanding of the identity status paradigm. Through the narrative strategy, this investigation provides support for the notion that individuals of differing identity status structure narratives of parental influence on career development differently. Consistency in narrative structure was observed among the narratives of participants sharing an identity status, and this result is further supported by statistical analysis. The results from phenomenological analysis build on these findings through the identification of consistent themes associated with the experience of parental influence within the narratives of individuals sharing an identity  172 status.  In short,  it seems evident that views about  parental influence on career development can thus also been seen as statements about identity. The current investigation has shown the family system to be an important context for on&s development through adolescence and into young adulthood. Using parental influence as a career development variable, the findings as a whole suggest (in support of earlier work)  that ego  identity is a promising variable in the study of career development. As Erikson (1985)  suggests:  A pervasive sense of identity is born gradually of the selective affirmation and repudiation of childhood identifications.. .the young person must undergo a process of discovering an essential,  or nuclear self,  and of determining a set of self—selected roles and commitments that will later bear the fruits of a manifest purpose. Thus with a sense of purpose, builds the future one wants to live in. Atkinson,  1987, p.  one  (cited in  156)  Implications For Practice A second purpose of this chapter is to examine the implications that the results of this research have for current practice and research and to raise questions for future research. Through the results of this study, the counsellor is offered further understanding as to how young adults  173 construct stories of their lives accounting for parental influence,  and how individual life stories may be  structured differently. Findings also bring to awareness dominant themes associated with the experience of parental influence on career development and how these themes relate to identity formation in young adulthood. The narrative approach itself may serve to help clients develop stories of their lives by which they invest career with meaning by identifying themes and tensions in the story line.  Further, they may serve to represent an  understanding about career and parenting in one’s life. As White and Epston (1990) have pointed out, persons gain a reflective perspective on their lives, and new options become available to them in challenging the “truths” that they experience as defining and specifying of them and their relationships.  (p.  30)  Narratives can thus be useful in working with adolescents, young adults, asking,  and adults alike, who appear in counselling  one way or another,  “What am I living for?”, to  explore possibilities for developing a sense of purpose (and thus achieving an identity). Another implication of the results of this study and the research cited herein involves the proposition that the processes of identity formation and career development are both joint products of the young person and his or her  174 social context  (parents/family).  It was observed that the  family context that best facilitates the individual’s developing sense of identity and commitment to career goals is one that involves both individuality and independence, and connectedness with parents.  Individuality facilitates  the developing sense of self as distinctive and unique; connectedness provides the security which permits the young person to venture out and explore. Parents are thus faced with the challenge of negotiating the family’s rules and roles to accommodate these developmental needs of their children,  and may require assistance with this process in  counselling. The results of this investigation supports Levinson’s (1984)  criticism that,  “research and counselling on career  development have tended to focus narrowly on the occupational domain. excluded”  (p.  Other factors have been totally  49). As such we are suggesting that our  understanding of, and intervention in, career development issues could be enhanced materially if we understand them within the context of the person’s overall life structure, or life story. Counsellors may thus,  also wish to attend  more closely to family relationships in the development of career—related interventions by,  for example, determining  the degree of support and conflict in the family, particularly for those adolescents and young adults who seem to be expressing difficulties establishing and  175 committing to career goals. Another possibility might be to offer psychoeducational programs for adolescents/young adults and their parents that would aim at enhancing open communication, nurturing and autonomous relationships. In general, this research supports the incorporation of developmental perspectives into the career counselling process,  as it is recognized here that career choices are  associated with the search for identity. So,  in working  with young adults, an understanding of the identity status paradigm could contribute to the counsellor’s ability to assess a client’s “problem” and to determine how personal and career “problems” interact. Suggestions For Future Research A limitation of the current investigation resulting from the use of qualitative measures of analysis concerns the use of a relatively small sample size. Thus,  the most  obvious suggestion f or future research involves conducting a similar project with a larger sample size, possibly focusing on the statistical component,  or the relationship  between narrative types and identity status classifications. Restricting the time between administration of the identity status measure and the interviews might provide a way of testing specifically the relationship between Identity Diffusion and the experience of parental influence on career development. Along these lines, conducting a similar investigation with a larger,  176 more heterogenous sample might bring to light gender and culture differences with regard to identity status and/or experiences of parental influence on career development. Gender differences in identity status,  for example, have  begun to be addressed in the identity research in the past decade, however further work is needed in this area. Longitudinal research might be useful to capture the dynamic nature of identity status classifications and narrative structures. The results of this investigation lend support to the notion that ego identity is a promising variable in the study of vocational behaviour and development. However, parental influence is only one career development variable, and the narrative approach represents only one method of addressing the realm of parental influence. Further research is therefore needed to explore this recently associated link between the identity formation and career development literatures. In a broader sense, the current investigation suggests that an interaction exists between identity formation and career development. As such,  future research could also  address potential links between alternative stages of psychosocial development proposed as by Erikson and various career development variables. The current investigation supports the use of a narrative approach to address the domain of parental  177 influence, however the specific gender role influences of mothers and fathers on their male and female children is generally not explored in this study. Future research might therefore wish to consider these possible differences. The narrative approach itself might also provide an interesting, novel method of identifying themes associated with alternative stages of psychosocial development as proposed by Erikson (eg., generativity versus stagnation). Conclusion In the current investigation, narrative accounts were used as the bases for the exploration of the way in which young adults construct the domain of parental influence.  It  was discovered that different experiences of parental influence could be accounted for in the explanation of career development,  and that these differences were likely  reflective of individual differences in the progress of identity formation. As such, this study supports the research described in earlier chapters of this paper that suggests that stages of identity formation are related to how one experiences relationships within the family, and how these relationships in turn are experienced as influencing the exploration of career alternatives and the commitment to career values and goals.  In short, this  research shows ego identity to be a promising variable in the study of career development, and thus supports the suggested integration of the theoretical concepts of both  178 identity formation and career development processes in future research.  179 REFERENCES Adams, G. R., Abraham, G. G., & Markstrom, C. A. (1987). 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Career Development quarterly, 4.Q, 198207.  189 Appendix A University of British Columbia Participant Informed Consent Form Project Title The Relationship between Ego-Identity Status and Retrospective Narrative Accounts of Parental Career Influence Investigators This project is supervised by the University of British Columbia, Department of Counselling Psychology. Dr. R. Young, Dr. N. Amundsen, Professor J. Lynam, and Andria Sankey are the research investigators. It is being carried out by Andria Sankey as a thesis requirement for a Master of Arts degree in counselling psychology. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this research project is to explore the relationship between perceptions of parental influence on career development and identity formation. The researchers are interested in trying to more fully understand how young adults at different stages of identity formation perceive the influence of parents in their lives. Procedures Volunteers will be asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and a measure of identity development. Basically, this measure looks at how one understands and views him or herself. Based on the results of the identity measure, a small number of volunteers (a maximum of 15) will be contacted by telephone and asked to participate in a confidential interview that will deal with they feel their parents have influenced their lives and careers. This interview will last for approximately 1 1/2 hours and will be audiotaped. A follow-up interview of approximately 30 minutes will be conducted to enable participants to hear a summative evaluation of the experience, to discuss with the interviewer any issues that arise from the summation, and to provide a sense of closure to the experience. All of the information collected will remain completely confidential and under no circumstances will participants be specifically or indirectly identified in writing up the results of this study. Audiotapes and forms  190 will be identif led by a code number, and the only individuals that will have access to the information will be the members of the research team. A written summary of the interview will be provided for each participant. Your participation in this study is voluntary. You may refuse to participate or withdraw from participation at any time without jeopardizing your standing as a student in this class. You will have every opportunity to discuss your concerns about this project, or your experience as a participant, at any time before, during, or after the questionnaire or interviews. The interviewer is aware that sensitive issues may arise during the course of the interview, and will therefore ensure that a level of comfort is reached before closing. Benefits Participation in this study will allow the opportunity to tell your life story--to explore some past events in your life that you feel have had a impact on your current career and life paths. You may become more aware of some of the values you hold that have led you to Research in this area has certain life decisions. indicated that telling one’s life story can provide a sense of meaning and understanding of how one’s past may have had an influence on the present and the pursuit of goals. If free to British (Andria  you have any questions or concerns, please feel contact Dr. Richard Young at the University of Columbia at 822-6380. Messages can be left for me Sankey) at 822-5259.  I acknowledge having read this and having received a copy of the consent form. I understand that my signing this form indicates consent to the researcher to telephone me regarding setting—up a convenient time for an interview.  Participant’s signature_______________________________________ First name  (please print)  Telephone number  191 Appendix B Introduction to questionnaires The Relationship Between Ego-Identity Status and Retrospective Narrative Accounts of Parental Career Influence The researchers involved in this project are Drs. R. Young and N. Amundsen of the Department of Counselling Psychology, Professor J. Lynam of the Department of Nursing and myself, Andria Sankey. The following two forms include a demographic questionnaire and an identity questionnaire. The demographic questionnaire is to provide me with some additional information about you with regard to the different contexts you live and work in, and also about career goals you may have set for yourself. The second questionnaire looks at how you see yourself, or more specifically about your thoughts and feelings in areas such as religion, occupation, sex roles, and dating. You may find that you gain some personal, self—understanding as you think about your answers to these questions. Both questionnaires should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. This information will be kept completely confidential. All questionnaires will be given a code number that will in no way be associated with your name. Your name and phone number that you have provided on the consent form will be destroyed after I have contacted those who will be participating in the second stage of the study. Identifying characteristics will not be used in writing up the results of this study. By completing the consent form and these questionnaires, I will assume that you are agreeable to my contacting you for an interview. However, you still maintain the right to withdraw from this study at any time without jeopardizing your standing in this course in any way. Again, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a message for me (Andria Sankey) at 822-5259, or speak with Dr. Richard Young at 822-6380. Thank-you for your participation and interest in this study.  192 Appendix C Demographic questionnaire This form is to be completed by each individual wishing to participate in this study.  1.  Your age  2.  Your gender  3.  Your current year in college  4.  Are you a full-time student:  5.  Are you presently employed?  (check one)  Full Time  Yes______  No_______  Part Time  No  6. Are you currently living: Alone________ With roommate(s) With spouse/partner With parent(s) With other relative(s) 7. What occupation do you want to have when you finish all of your education and training? 8.  How sure are you of your occupational choice?  Uncertain  1  2  3  4  5  9.  What is your mother’s occupation?  10.  What is your father’s occupation?  6  7  very sure  193 APPENDIX D  EOMEIS—2 Read each item and indicate to what degree it reflects your own thoughts and feelings. If a statement has more than one part, please indicate your reaction to the statement as a whole. Indicate your answer by placing the appropriate letter at the end of each statement.  A B C D E F  = = = = = =  strongly agree moderately agree agree disagree moderately disagree strongly disagree  I haven’t chosen the occupation I really want to go 1. into, and I’m just working at what ever is available until something better comes along. When it comes to religion, I just haven’t found 2. anything that appeals to me and I don’t really feel the need to look. My ideas about men’s and women’s roles are identical to 3. my parents’. What will work for them will obviously work for me. There’s no single “lifestyle” which appeals to me more 4. than another. 5. There’s a lot of different kinds of people. I’m still exploring the many different possibilities to find the right kind of friends for me. 6. I sometimes join in recreational activities when asked, but I rarely try anything on my own. I haven’t really thought about a “dating style.” I’m 7. not too concerned whether I date or not. Politics is something that I can never be too sure 8. about because things change so fast. But I do think it’s important to know what I can politically stand for and believe in.  194 9. I’m still trying to decide how capable I am as a person and what jobs will be right for me. 10. I don’t give religion much thought and it doesn’t bother me one way or the other. 11. There’s so many ways to divide responsibilities in marriage, I’m trying to decide what will work for me. 12. I’m looking for an acceptable perspective for my own “lifestyle” view, but I haven’t really found it yet. 13. There are many reasons for friendship, but I chose my close friends on the basis of certain values and similarities that I’ve personally decided on. 14. While I don’t have one recreational activity I’m really committed to, I’m experiencing numerous leisure outlets to identify one I can truly enjoy. 15. Based on past experiences, I’ve chosen the type of dating relationship I want now. 16. I haven’t really considered politics. excite me much.  It just doesn’t  17. I might have thought about a lot of different jobs, but there’s never really been any questions since my parents said what they wanted. 18. A person’s faith is unique to each individual. I’ve considered and reconsidered it myself and know what I believe in. 19. I’ve never really seriously considered men’s and women’s roles in marriage. It just doesn’t seem to concern me. 20. After considerable thought I’ve developed my own individual viewpoint of what is for me an ideal “life style”, and don’t believe anyone will be likely to change my perspective. 21. My parents know what is best for me in terms of how I chose my friends. 22. I’ve chosen one or more recreational activities to engage in regularly from lots of things and I’m satisfied with those choices.  195 23. I don’t think about dating much. as it comes.  I just kind of take it  24. I guess I’m pretty much like my. folks when it comes to politics. I follow what they do in terms of voting and such. 25. I’m really not interested in finding the right job, any job will do. I just seem to glow with what is available. 26. I’m not sure what religion means to me. I’d like to make up my mind but I’m not done looking yet. 27. My ideas about men’s and women’s roles have come right from my parents and family. I haven’t seem any need to look further. 28. My own views on a desirable lifestyle were taught to me by my parents and I don’t see any need to question what they taught me. 29. I don’t have any real close friends, I’m looking for one right now.  and I don’t think  30. Sometimes I join in leisure activities, but I rarely don’t see a need to look for a particular activity to do regularly. 31. I’m trying out different kinds of dating relationships. I just haven’t decided what is best for me. 32. There are just so many different political parties and ideals. I can’t decide which to follow until I figure it all out. 33. It took me a while to figure it out, know what I want in a career.  but now I really  34. Religion is confusing to me right now. I keep changing my views on what is right and wrong for me. 35. I’ve spent some time thinking about men’s and women’s roles in marriage and I’ve decided what will work best for me. 36. In finding an acceptable viewpoint to life itself, I find myself engaging in a lot of discussion with others and some self—exploration. 37.  I only pick friends my parents would approve of.  196 38. I’ve always liked doing the some recreational activities my parents do and haven’t ever seriously considered anything else. 39. I only go out with the type of people my parents expect me to date. 40. I’ve thought my political beliefs through and realize I can agree with some and not other aspects of what my parents believe. 41. My parents decided a long time ago what I should go into for employment and I’m following through with their plans. 42. I’ve gone through a period of serious questions about faith and can now say I understand what I believe in as an individual. 43. I’ve been thinking about the roles that husbands and wives play a lot these days, and I’m trying to make a final decision. 44. My parents’ views on life are good enough for me, don’t need anything else.  I  45. I’ve had many different friendships now and I have a clear idea of what I look for in a friend. 46. After trying a lot of different recreational activities I’ve found one or more I enjoy doing by myself or with friends. 47. My preferences about dating are still in the process of developing. I haven’t fully decided yet. 48. I’m not sure about my political beliefs, to figure out what I can truly believe in.  but I’m trying  49. It took me a long time to decide but now I know for sure what direction to move in for a career. 50. I attend the same church as my family has always attended. I’ve never really questioned why. 51. There are many ways that family members can divide up family responsibilities. I’ve thought about lots of ways, and now I know exactly how I want it to happen for me.  197 I’ve dated different types of people and know exactly what my own “unwritten rules” for dating are and who I will date. 55.  56. I really have never been involved with politics enough to have made a firm stand one way or the other. 57. I just can’t decide what to do for an occupation. are so many that have possibilities. 58. I’ve never really questioned my religion. for my parents it must be right for me.  There  If it’s right  59. opinions on men’s and women’s roles seem so varied that I don’t think much about it. 60. After a lot of self-examination I have established a very definite view on what my own lifestyle will be. 61. I really don’t know what kind of friend is best for me. I’m trying to figure out exactly what friendship means to me. 62. All of my recreational preferences I got from my parents and I haven’t really tried anything else. 63.  I date only people my parents would approve of.  64. My parents have always had their own political style and moral beliefs about issues like abortion and mercy killing and I’ve always gone along accepting what they have.  198 Appendix E Interview Format Introduction Thank-you for volunteering to participate in this study. Again, my name is Andria Sankey. I spoke with your class earlier about the purpose and nature of the study, however, I’d like to briefly go over that information with you again and answer any questions that may have come up for you since you completed the questionnaires. This study is conducted as a requirement for the masters program in the Department of Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Drs. Richard Young and Norman Amundsen of the Counselling Psychology Department and Professor Judith Lynam of the Department of Nursing are my supervisors. We are trying to more fully understand how individuals at different stages of identity formation construct stories of their lives accounting for parental influence on their career development. We would like to hear about some of the experiences you’ve had with your parents, how you feel these incidents have influenced you, and whether you feel this influence has been positive or negative. We would also like to hear about any goals that you have for yourself in your future. I should mention that we use the term “career” here in a very broad sense meaning to include the paths you’ve taken and the decisions you’ve made with regard to vocational and educational decisions, marriage and family decisions——basically any decisions you have made with regard to what you do with your time. The interview will last for approximately an hour. As was noted on the consent form that you signed last day, I am going to audio—record your story so that I can listen to you without my having to interrupt or ask you to repeat something that I need to write down. The tape recording will be transcribed, or written out, so that all identifying information, such as your name will be taken out. Again, all the information that you give will be held in confidence, and will only be used for research purposes. Before we begin, do you have any questions or concerns that you would like to bring up that I have not already answered? (pause) ——Cassette recorder turned on——  199 1. To begin, perhaps you could tell me a little about yourself, as far as where you are now in your life, and the routes you have taken to get here. 2. What kinds of events in your life have contributed to some of the decisions you have made (e.g., the decision to enter college)? 3. What is important to you? Do you have any plans or hopes for yourself in the future? 4. Could you tell me a little about your parents-let’s start with your mother. What would you say is important to her? 5. What about your father--when you look at the way he’s lived his life, what would you say is important to him? 6. Do you think that your parents have had a significant influence on your career development, and the decisions you’ve made in your life? If so, how? 7. Can you think of any specific examples of events or times in your life during which you feel your parents have either influenced you or tried to influence you? 8. What was your response to your parents’ behaviour during these incidents? (dealing with each incident separately) 9. What did you do or how did you feel after these events occurred? (dealing with each event separately) 10. Do you feel that these events were helpful or harmful to your career development? (dealing with each event separately) 11. How much do you think you went along with what your parents wanted for you, and how much do you feel you rebelled? 12. How do you think you parents feel about the decisions you’ve made about your life. 13. You’ve mentioned some goals or hopes for the future that you’ve set out for yourself. How confident are you that you’ll reach these?  200  (A follow up interview of approximately 15 to 30 minutes will be conducted within three weeks of the interview. A summary of the transcript will be read and given to the volunteer. They will be asked for their comments and whether they would like to make changes to the summary)  1. Do you feel that this summary accurately captures how you feel your parents have been influential in your career development, as you described during our first interview? 2. Are there any thoughts or feelings that you would like to add to your story? 3. Is there anything written in your story you feel is inaccurate, that you would like to have taken out or changed? 4. Was the interview method conducive to the telling of your story in the way you had wished to tell it? Do you feel that the questions were appropriate or did you feel they restricted you in any way with regard to your telling your story?  


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