Female adolescent ego development and how it is related to attachment and depression: A longitudinal study

Cecilia Rembert, Pace University

Abstract

Research suggest that adolescents' developmental level accounts for their sources of strengths and psychopathology and that ego development rather than age predicts the nature and degree of adolescent turmoil. This study investigated how changes in ego development are associated with changes in depression and attachment in the same female adolescents over time. Specifically, it examined whether shifts in developmental level correspond to changes in depression and attachment. Time of testing by shifts in developmental level and interaction effects were examined. Participants were female high school students attending a public high school and were part of a longitudinal study of adolescent depression and development conducted by Pace University from 1988 through 1993. This study looked at their scores on the Washington University Sentence Completion test (WUSCT), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC), and the Inventory of Parental Representations (IPR) a minimum of two consecutive years in a row. ^ In the larger study, cross sectional samples suggest that the relationship between ego development and depression, as well as ego development and attachment, does not always follow a linear pattern. Rather, adolescents at the Pre-Conformist and Self-Aware levels were more depressed than those at the Conformist and Post-Conformist levels. Furthermore, Pre-Conformist adolescents perceived their mothers more negatively than other developmental groups while self-aware adolescents perceived their mothers the most positively. As a result, it was hypothesized that female adolescents who progressed from Pre-Conformist to higher developmental levels from one year to the next would report less depression and more positive attachment patterns. Because Conformist female adolescents were least depressed, it was hypothesized that those who shifted to a higher or lower developmental level would report greater depression and that the Self-Aware who shifted one level of ego development from one year to the next would report less depression. ^ In order to determine whether significant changes occur in depression level from one year to another as an effect of shifts in ego development, one-way ANOVAs were employed. Furthermore, to determine effect sizes and differences over time, general linear models were utilized. In order to determine whether significant changes occur in attachment to mother over time, as an effect of shifts in ego development level from one year to the next, general linear models were utilized. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Cecilia Rembert, "Female adolescent ego development and how it is related to attachment and depression: A longitudinal study" (January 1, 2006). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3223346.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3223346

Share

COinS

Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)