Identity Exploration, Commitment, and Distress: A Cross National Investigation in China, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States

Steven L. Berman, Yu Fang You, Seth J Schwartz, Grace Teo, Kohei Mochizuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


This study tested cross cultural measurement equivalence of three identity constructs by testing the factor invariance among participants from four nations. Data from measures of identity exploration, commitment, and distress were collected from university students in Mainland China (n = 85), Taiwan (n = 117), Japan (n = 117), and the United States (n = 223) using the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ) and the Identity Distress Scale (IDS). Invariance was not found for the Exploration subscale of the EIPQ, and only partial invariance was found for the Commitment subscale. The Identity Distress Scale did demonstrate invariance across all four samples. Differences varied by degree of Westernization (globalization) of the cultures under study. The results question the cross cultural validity of the EIPQ, particularly the identity exploration subscale. Results are discussed in terms of avenues for improving the cross cultural validity of assessments of identity constructs and implications for interventions that target identity processes to promote positive youth development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011



  • Asian
  • Cross-national
  • Identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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