Measuring identity from an Eriksonian perspective: Two sides of the same coin?

Seth J. Schwartz, Byron L. Zamboanga, Wei Wang, Janine V. Olthuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


In this article, we report the results of 3 studies evaluating the psychometric properties of scores generated using the Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory (EPSI; Rosenthal, Gurney, & Moore, 1981) with emerging adults. In Study 1, a hybrid bifactor solution, consisting of an overall identity factor as well as of "method effects" factors for identity synthesis and identity confusion, provided a better fit to the data than did either one or two-factor solutions. This bifactor solution was largely invariant across gender and across Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. In Study 2, the overall identity, identity synthesis, and identity confusion scores were shown to possess convergent validity with another Eriksonian measure and with measures of identity status. In Study 3, the EPSI subscale scores were shown to possess construct validity vis-a-vis self-esteem, purpose in life, internal locus of control, ego strength, anxiety, and depression. We discuss implications for the measurement of identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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