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Journal of Adolescence 2000, 23, 95106

doi:10.1006/jado.1999.0298, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on

Barriers to ego identity status formation:


a contextual qualification of Marcia's identity status
paradigm
AMY E. YODER
While many psychological, sociological and educational researchers acknowledge that
ego identity formation is a socially embedded process, others have found that identity
research often focuses, almost exclusively, on internal psychological development. The
concept of ``barriers'' provides a means by which to describe external influences
associated with adolescent and young adult ego identity exploration and commitment
processes which affect and possibly limit individual developmental options. Based on
Erikson's assumption that ego identity formation involves both personal growth and
communal change, the barriers qualification expands upon Marica's identity status
paradigm to more accurately reflect socio-cultural variables which may have impact
upon individual internal psychological function.
# 2000 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents

Introduction
Social cognition of the adolescent self includes three major aspects: (a) knowledge of the self;
(b) knowledge of others; and (c) knowledge of oneself in relation to others (Lewis and
Brooks-Gunn, 1979; Erikson, 1980). Erikson in particular has framed adolescent
development in terms of psychosocial task yet, despite Erikson's insistence that one ``cannot
separate personal growth and communal change'' (Erikson, 1968: 23), many psychologists
have coined identity as an internalized role designation that celebrates the self as
disconnected and unique from circumstance (Gurin and Marcus, 1989). Such models of
identity formation theory often assume that adolescent identity exploration and commitment
occur in a static environment composed of : (a) a defined social structure; (b) an absence of
physical and/or socioeconomic limitations; and (c) an identifiable set of work and life options
or choices which the adolescent understands (Erikson, 1980). Assumptions of a singular and
definable context in which adolescent identity formation occurs, however, discount the effect
of external socio-cultural influences upon internal psychological processes and unfairly place
much or all of the responsibility for successful identity task completion upon the individual.
To be relevant and useful in contemporary social and psychological theory, Marcia's (1966,
1993) ego identity status paradigm, widely used as a means by which to describe and assess
adolescent identity formation, must reflect the existence of and describe identity formation
processes common to all adolescents while identifying possible influences that cause
variations from (normal) progression through the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Kroger stresses that ``the dominant mood of any historical epoch is intimately linked with an
individual's psychosocial identity options as well as one's very model of engaging in the
Reprint requests and correspondence should be addressed to Amy E. Yoder, 9 Havenhurst Drive, Coto de Caza,
CA 92679, U.S.A.
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A. E. Yoder

identity formation process itself'' (Kroger, 1993b: 364). Recognizing that changing
socioeconomic and world events have an impact on the fabric upon which one weaves
one's identity, the proposed expansion of Marcia's identity status paradigm outlined in the
following pages, from both a psychological and sociological perspective, attempts to: (a)
explore the benefits and limitations of identity models which attempt to measure adolescent
identity development; (b) address the adolescent's acquisition of an ego identity as a
culturally and historically specific phenomenon; and (c) introduce the concept of ``barriers''
as a way of modifying Marcia's paradigm so that each status more accurately reflects an
individual's ability to influence those external socio-economic and cultural forces which may
affect internal ego identity resolution.

Methodological assessment of ego identity formation


A brief review of the literature reveals the important and prolific use of Marcia's (1966)
identity status paradigm as a means of tracking individual progress through the phases of
identity exploration and commitment (Kroger, 1993a). Marcia's methodology for describing
the process of ego identity formation is divided into two developmental tasks: (a) exploration
of occupational, ideological, political and sex role options, or domains, in adult life; and (b)
commitment of belief or action in each of these areas. From an identity perspective,
exploration pertains to the active consideration of alternatives and encompassing ideological
issues embedded in the vocational and other domains. Commitment refers to the attainment
of a clear sense of self-definition or ego identity within one or more domains (Blustein et al.,
1989). An individual is assigned one of four statuses based on his or her participation in these
processes. Identity achievements are individuals who have experienced a decision-making
period and are pursuing self-chosen occupational goals. Foreclosures are persons who are also
committed to occupational and ideological positions, but without exploration. Identity
diffusions have no set occupational direction whether or not they are engaged in exploration.
Moratoriums are currently struggling with occupational issues and are in an identity crisis
(Marcia, 1966, 1980).
While many researchers of ego identity formation acknowledge that identity development
is a socially embedded process (e.g. Marcia, 1966; Waterman, 1988), Cote and Allahar
(1994), Cote and Levine (1988) and Vondrecek (1992) find that identity research often
focuses, almost exclusively, on psychological perspectives of internal exploration and
development. Marcia (1989) does acknowledge identity formation as a process which may be
affected by socio-cultural influences, yet his methodological device, created as a ``selfstructurean internal, self-constructed, dynamic organization of drives, abilities, beliefs, and
individual history'', sometimes appears to put much of the developmental responsibility upon
the individual and, despite its use in a variety of cultural settings, imply a rather passive
environment (Marcia, 1980: 160161). As a result, Daloz (1986), Mezirow (1991), Lavoie
(1994) and others caution, the effects of external socio-economic and world events upon
individual developmental processes may be lost in the search for individually driven status.
Friedenberg (1959), Erikson (1980), Cote and Allahar (1994) and others have warned
that changing social structures may directly impact and limit the conditions under which one
experiences ``adolescence''. Viewed as a time of moratorium, whereby the oft-studied college
student gains reprieve from adult responsibilities in order to pursue, in particular, career
choices (e.g. Tiedeman, 1961; Erikson, 1968; Harren, 1979; Marcia, 1993; Tinto, 1993),

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97

adolescence shifts in nature or disappears entirely for those who are either unable or
unwilling to take a ``time out'' in between childhood and adulthood. Economic uncertainty,
education inflation and socially prescribed age limits on economic and political freedoms
impede many adolescents' successful ego identity resolution as they are either placed outside
adult social and economic networks or choose to rebel against them (Brake, 1985; William
T. Grant Foundation Commission on Work, Family, and Citizenship, 1988; Cote, 1996). As
early as 1959, Friedenberg described adolescent individuals who exist outside the 4-year
college moratorium model of development as ``those we treat [in psychology] as silent,
alienated or simply social aberrations from the normal course of adolescence'', rather than as
representatives and reflections of adolescent cohorts in transitional cultures (Friedenberg,
1959: 18). For, although many social scientists agree that the basic biological processes and
increasing capacities of maturation are probably more or less similar in all human societies,
adolescence in its advanced cultural forms often means preparation for a new pattern of adult
work, relationship and social function that is determined by changing cultural and
socioeconomic systems (Mead, 1928; Werner, 1948; Eisenstadt, 1965).
Status methodologies, well-documented as a means by which to quantify and qualify
adolescent progression through the identity process, provide a more comprehensive and
accurate correlation between behavior and social context when taking into account changing
environmental conditions by which observed behaviors might be contextually understood
(Munley, 1977). For example, Munro and Adams' (1977) research of the differential
development of college and working youth found that, in general, working youth were more
identity-achieved than college students of similar age and cohort. Further analysis of
contextual factors related to individual behaviors or statuses revealed that the abstractness
of the college environment allowed considerable freedom of thought and offered a variety of
ideological perspectives that required longer periods of exploration prior to occupational
commitment. The concrete nature of the working world, they hypothesized, was more likely
to stimulate and support a rightwrong perspective that might be related to either early
commitment or foreclosure. By providing an environmental context by which to interpret
each status definition, a more complete understanding was gained by which to describe
exploration and commitment behaviors.
Munro and Adam's research highlights the importance of including contextual variables in
status methodologies. The working youth who is ``foreclosed'' by having no time to explore,
who simply must make ends meet, may not be entirely responsible for that status. Such
individual behavior may more accurately reflect either a provision or lack of social supports
whereby the adolescent identifies and explores occupational options. Erikson insists that the
development of a healthy personality ``depends on a certain degree of choice, a certain hope
for an individual chance, and a certain conviction in freedom of self-determination''
(Erikson, 1980: 9899). In order to decribe accurately the diversity of contexts experienced
by many adolescents in their transition to adulthood, Marcia's identity status paradigm must
describe a multiplicity of contexts within which identity formation takes place.

Barriers: a contextual qualification of identity status


The barrier designation

Framing ego identity formation within a socio-historical context necessitates methodological


inclusion of those external variables which affect internal developmental options.

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A. E. Yoder

Assessment of an individual's status focuses on the presence or absence of: (a) consideration
of a range of identity alternatives; (b) the appearance of clear self-definition; (c)
commitments regarding goals, values and beliefs; (d) activity and behavior directed towards
implementation of commitments; and (e) a sense of confidence in one's future (Waterman,
1982). Barriers, however, reflect external limitations imposed upon these processes. Located
in the socio-cultural environment and framed in terms of socio-economic circumstance, a
broad category which encompasses society, family and work environments, barriers expand
descriptions of identity status to specifically include or exclude conditions over which an
individual has little or no control, but which affect, often profoundly, his or her
developmental options. Each provides a contextual boundary for ego identity exploration
and commitment and, as such, qualifies the nature and assumptions of each identity status as
shown in Table 1.
For example, in considering a range of occupational identity alternatives, an individual
may be considered foreclosed if he or she commits to a career without exploring various
occupational options. One example is the doctor's son who, along with his family, decides
from an early age to be a doctor and works only towards that goal. There is an underlying
assumption, however, that this individual has other options, reflecting neither exploration nor
commitment barriers. By comparison, the inner-city youth with no financial support, no role
models and very little educational or other institutional support who takes a job at a fast-food
restaurant may appear foreclosed because he or she does not consider other career options.
An exploration barriers designation, however, indicates circumstances existing outside an
individual's personal control which limit exploration options. The assumption of individual
choice or opportunity, in either exploration or commitment, is limited to Marcia's unqualified
(barrier absent) statuses.

Socio-cultural relevance of barriers to ego identity formation

A fundamental defining feature of identity is that it addresses issues of the self in context
(Grotevant, 1992). Historically, successful identity formation has been considered a process
whereby one first explores one's self and the external environment and then proceeds to
commit to various aspects of identity, including career, relationships and ideologies
(Waterman, 1982; Blustein et al., 1989). Application of a barrier designation to an ego
identity status enables researchers and educators to distinguish between individual
psychological choice and externally controlled contexts for psychosocial development. As
the expectant, secure and homogeneous college students upon whom Marcia (1966)
conducted his original research are replaced, along with their lesser-trained peers, by a
Table 1

Barriers within the ego identity status paradigm

Identity
status

Exploration
barriers

Barriers to
commitment

Identity achievement
Moratorium
Foreclosure
Identity diffusion

Absent or overcome
Absent or overcome
Possibly present
Possibly present

Absent or overcome
Possibly present
Absent or overcome
Possibly present

Based on Marcia's (1966) Development and validation of ego-identity status. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology 3, 551558.

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99

growing number of adolescents and young adults who exist in ethnically and/or economically
marginalized communities that do not afford them the ``luxury of an identity crisis'', both in
Euro-western societies and in other cultures, meaningful application of an identity status to
individual psychological development becomes more contextually dependent (Cote, 1994:
75). For example, in Euro-western cultures, dissociation of the adolescent's work and social
experience from adult economies pervades contemporary society (Rifkin, 1995; Cote and
Allahar, 1994; Garreau, 1992; Kurtines, 1997). Media trains youth to consume rather than
produce goods as the same corporations that shower youths with enticing advertising decry
the unavailability of technically skilled workers (Commission on the Skills of the American
Workforce, 1990; Denny, 1965; Marshall and Tucker, 1992; Provenzo, 1991; Silvestri and
Lukasiewicz, 1991).
Erikson notes in his psychoanalytic explorations that ``it comes as rather a shock that the
image [and choices] of man which we are invited to ponder is limited to members of the male
species, and then only to an elite among the free'' (Erikson, 1975: 175). Despite differences
in experience, culture and background, many adolescents who face barriers still appear to be
measured, in the Anglo-American developmental tradition, ``by the same yardstick'' as their
regularly researched peers in the more privileged academic institutions and colleges (Riegel,
1976: 104). Adolescents and young adults who come from communities of disempowerment
where they and their families are unable to influence the social institutions which affect their
lives, make up little of the research body but make up a great proportion of the social
problems faced by schools and society as a whole, including: (a) lowered literacy; (b) lack of
skilled workers for high-tech economies; (c) increased violent and youth crime; and
(d) increased family dysfunction.
Erikson cautions that, to the extent that adolescent experiences of expectations and
restrictions are at odds with socially accepted and economically relevant adult work,
relational and social roles, a severe identity crisis replaces a period of occupational
exploration and resolution (Erikson, 1975). The adolescent perception of society as
belonging only to adults engenders a resentment that may lead to dropout, anti-social and
non-work behaviors that are perceived by adults as deviant and/or rebellious (Cote, 1996;
Esman, 1990; Kurtines, 1997; Mahler, 1977; Merva and Fowles, 1992; Rifkin, 1995). Instead,
because of a deficit of what Cote calls identity capital, many youths become involved in
``other-directedness'', where they are more concerned with impressing their peers than in
maintaining internal work ethics and moral standards (Cote, 1996). Lack of a predictable
and hopeful future gives way to a nation of over 30 million adolescents where approximately
one-quarter are considered at serious risk for any number of adverse outcomes, including
school dropout, teen pregnancy, violence, unemployment and substance abuse (Gardner et
al., 1994). Barrier designations emphasize the degree to which a socio-cultural context can
affect optimal adult identity formation. The gang youth in which a diffused/exploration and
commitment barriers status dominates throughout the domains indicates a need for societal as
well as individually driven intervention.

Socio-historic characteristics of barriers to ego identity formation

Because a specific barrier may appear or disappear over time, it is important to establish
criteria by which barriers might be identified over a continuum. Several characteristics
appear to apply to barriers in both historical, contemporary and future contexts, thereby
serving as basic criteria for identifying externally imposed barriers at any one point in time.

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A. E. Yoder

Barriers reflect multiple socio-cultural and economic boundaries. From a


constructivist point of view, identity is seen as a structure or framework out of which
individuals interact with the world. Within that framework of a personality which strives to
develop a consistency and continuous sense of self over time and experience, however, there
are concentric circles making up multiple networks and cultures which require resolution by
the ego. Barriers reflect multiple communities and contexts in which limitations to ego
development may occur; a barrier in one community may not exist in another. For example,
an adolescent girl of Middle-Eastern descent whose family forbids work and arranges her
upcoming marriage may be encouraged by her school and teachers to pursue academic and
professional goals. Rather than relying on a simple foreclosed status to describe her upcoming
commitments, a qualified status, foreclosed/exploration barriers alerts those in education,
research and applied psychology to underlying circumstances that exist in one circle of
influence but not in others, creating opportunities for assessment, dialogue and possible
intervention.
Barriers reflect socio-cultural biases. Barriers modify Marcia's ego identity statuses to

include the experiences of racism, gender bias and other socio-cultural limitations often
faced by those not of the dominant class and gender. Growing up in a diverse society where
the mainstream culture may differ significantly in values and beliefs from their culture of
origin, many youths face the task of achieving a successful integration of assigned and chosen
aspects of identity into one self-identity (Baumeister, 1986, 1987; Grotevant, 1992; Phinney
and Rosenthal, 1992). Building upon Grotevant's (1992) research on assigned components
of identity, the barriers concept distinguishes between that component of self (e.g. race) over
which one has no control, and the social experience that may occur because of that
individual's component or characteristic. For example, training and promotion limitations
faced by an African American young man because of a boss's racial prejudice is reflected in
both exploration and commitment barriers; he can neither explore new skills nor reach
(commit to) a desired goal. Distinguishing experiences based on assigned components of
identity from actual physical or social characteristics directs responsibility for such
experiences away from the individual and towards other variables.

Barrier designations may include one or more domains. While the barrier
qualification may be applied separately to each of Marcia's (1966) domains (e.g. occupation,
religion, sex roles and political ideology), contextual variables in society often affect more
than one aspect of an individual's ego identity development. A barrier designation builds
upon the individual psychological information contained in Marcia's ego identity status
paradigm to include both global and domain-specific socio-cultural contexts. Contemporary
barriers identified in current literature and the media that often influence more than one
domain include (but are not limited to): (a) geographic isolation; (b) childhood socioeconomic status; (c) parental domination; (d) educational opportunity; (e) physical
limitation; (f ) political restriction; (g) ethnicity; (h) gender; (i) age; and (j) religion. For
example, marriage, work and religious restrictions placed by both family and culture upon an
impoverished young girl in rural India because of her sex affect not only her sex role identity
but her opportunities for occupational, religious and political exploration and commitment.
The environmental context in a community which treats women as a form of disposable
chattel qualifies the concept of a ``diffused'' or ``foreclosed'' status among all of the domains.

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101

Barriers reflect historical change. An underlying assumption of an historical context


is that there is ongoing social and cultural change. Because of this, a barrier at one point in
time may later be removed. A young woman, for example, who explores many career options
in college and ``commits'' to a particular occupation may later revisit her options because of
externally imposed barriers to professional advancement. Her status is classified, for ego
identity formation purposes, as moratorium/commitment-barriers, noting that commitment was
attempted but unable to be achieved. That same woman, however, may persevere until
either her superiors or laws change and she attains her professional goal. Her status, identity
achieved/commitment-barriers, reflects the ongoing nature of the identity formation process
throughout the life-span.
Barriers exist on a continuum. Barriers reflect all limitations that are: (a) imposed
upon an individual's ego identity exploration and/or commitment; (b) beyond an individual's
intervention or control; and (c) experienced within an individual's immediate social, cultural
and/or economic context. As such, some seem larger and more severe than others (e.g. the
socio-cultural creation of adolescence itself, see Mead, 1928), yet all describe the imposition
of limitations on individual identity formation. For example, religious or political restrictions
based on an adolescent's parents' religious or political beliefs may seem less severe than
religious or political barriers imposed by police in a country where consideration of other than
the dominant religious or political philosophy invites a more global persecution or physical
harm. As a methodology to highlight external influences upon experience, however, both
circumstances meet the same three criteria for recognizing the existence of a barrier.
Barriers may exist separately for exploration and commitment. Depending upon
a status designation, barriers may exist separately for exploration and commitment. For
example, an aspiring female clergywoman who has readily explored her ideological and
vocational calling in college may still face a continued search for her occupational identity
because of her church's refusal to hire women as pastors. Her ego identity status, based on
this experience, is moratorium/commitment barriers. Conversely, her church might welcome
female pastors yet her family, disapproving of her vocational exploration in religion, may
withdraw all funds for school and living, resulting in restricted opportunities for career and
ideological exploration. Should she work part-time and continue the exploration process
during college, her ego identity status designation would be moratorium/exploration barriers.
Should she still choose and succeed in her religious vocation, her ego identity status
designation would be achieved/exploration barriers.
Qualifying status as a hierarchical predictor of personality

Historically, one of the mandates of psychological inquiry has been predicting behavior
(Bandura, 1986). While Marcia (1980) stresses that there are both healthy and pathological
variations of any status, Kroger (1993a) notes that over 30 years of research consistently
points to either positive or negative personality variables associated with each of Marcia's
identity statuses. Identity achievements, those individuals who first explore a variety of possible
socially sanctioned roles and then commit to one, are associated with personality traits
including: high levels of ego development; moral reasoning; internal locus of control; selfcertainty under stress and intimacy in interpersonal relationships (Marica, 1966; Adams and
Shea, 1979; Berzonsky and Neimeyer, 1988). By contrast, moratorium adolescents

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A. E. Yoder

consistently appear most fearful of success and foreclosures evidence the highest levels of
stereotypical thinking and obedience to authority (Larkin, 1987; Levitz-Jones and Orlofsky,
1985; Marica, 1980; Matterson, 1974).
Clearly, in a complex society that values cognitive flexibility, individually driven economic
competition and entrepreneurship, certain statuses become, hierarchically, far more
functional. Status designations applied to adolescents without regard for circumstance may
significantly influence the assessment of individual psychological capacity and ability to
function in adult roles. The high school student who appears diffused and without direction
or goals may simply have moved recently from another country and is unaccustomed to the
American language or culture. Diffused/exploration and commitment barriers exemplifies one of
many possible conditions for which an individual must not be held responsible nor, with the
proper intervention, limited by. Researchers including Gilligan (1982), Betz and Fitzgerald
(1987), Grotevant (1987, 1992), Josselson (1987), Archer (1992), Phinney and Rosenthal
(1992), Phinney (1993) and Phinney and Goossens (1996), are beginning to address how
these socially imposed barriers to identity exploration and commitment affect status designation.

Focus for future research


Individual variation in the experience of barriers and opportunities

In creating a methodology to describe ego identity formation, one need only


read Erikson's Ghandi (1969) or Young Man Luther (1958) to realize there are
individuals who are exceptionally capable of surmounting the greatest barriers that life
can offer. On the other hand, most adults have known at least one young adult who,
lacking any severe environmental constraints and often supplied with great opportunities of
health, wealth and educational privilege, chose life paths including drugs, promiscuity or
violence. In sociological theory, structure generally relates to constraints and opportunities
available to individuals in society. While most adolescents are unable to select the
environments in which they function, many are capable of constructing alternative
individual physical and mental structures that provide a context for shaping and controlling
future life events.
Theorists who approach human development from a life-span perspective call attention to
the need for an expanded orientation to the study of lives, specifying factors and cognitive
processes that set and alter particular life courses (Baltes et al., 1980; Brim and Kagan, 1980;
Bandura, 1986; Pipher, 1994; Galotti and Kozbergi, 1996). A barriers designation within an
identity status may provide a diagnostic tool by which to gauge the influence of external
factors on internal psychological development. Identifying and comparing those individuals
who surmount externally imposed obstacles to those who falter under harsh environmental
conditions provides an opportunity for the study of pivotal experiences and/or personality
factors that result in optimal adult psychological function.
Included in a dialogue about environmental factors which affect ego identity formation
and thereby qualify identity statuses lies the complementary concept to barriers, that of
opportunities. Effective resolution of life's continuities and discontinuities leads to increased
control over one's behavior, or ``sense of agency'', and the eventual expression of one's
identity through personally determined social and ideological roles (Bandura, 1989). In the
exercise of agency through self-belief in one's self-efficacy or ability to control surrounding
events and environments, external constraints or barriers intersect with internal

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103

psychological function. As social and cognitive researchers gather increased evidence that
human attainments and positive self-identity require an optimal sense of personal efficacy,
they begin to explore both what part external constraints play in diminishing self-efficacy and
which opportunities might help an individual gain internal motivation to overcome such
barriers. Pipher's (1994) and Gilligan's (1982) research into variation in girls' abilities to
overcome many sex-related barriers are but two of many examples of current research about
contextually influenced identity development.
From a research standpoint, Grotevant and others believe that the concept of identity
as structure is most useful psychologically as an organizational construct that describes how
key aspects of one's sense of self mesh with context and contribute to both current
psychological well-being and subsequent assimilation of adult roles and relationships
(Grotevant, 1992). Optimally, the barriers designation could support an ego identity
formation paradigm by which researchers and educators are able to consistently identify the
intersection between self-driven and contextually driven ego identity formation processes,
thereby giving rise to intervention and developmental systems whereby adolescents may be
directed, individually or as a group, towards positive and successful identity resolution.
Further directions for theoretical and empirical study of the barriers concept for use in ego
identity status methodologies necessary to achieve these goals include: (a) expansion of the
status interview and questionnaire to systematically identify externally imposed barriers (and
opportunities) which affect an individual's identity formation; (b) application of status
methodologies to adolescents and young adults in diverse contextual settings; (c) creation of
a methodology by which to separate externally imposed barriers from internally imposed
limitations; (d) exploration of the effect of barriers (and opportunities) on motivation and a
sense of personal agency; (e) further qualification of individual variation in identity
development given similar barriers and constraints; and (f ) development of intervention
models which identify and reduce socio-cultural barriers to successful adult identity
formation.

Summary
Over the past 30-plus years, psychological theory has acknowledged adolescence, not only as
a biological process, but also as psychological and socio-cultural processes (Friedenberg,
1959; Erikson, 1964, 1968, 1980; Marcia, 1966, 1980, 1993; Waterman, 1988; Cote, 1996).
Ego identity formation is a dynamic fitting-together of the personality with the realities of the
social world so that a person has a sense both of internal coherence and meaningful
relatedness to one's ``outer'' world, or external environment ( Josselson, 1987). For those who
study adolescence, consideration of the predominating socio-cultural ethos, including its
limitations, provides a more comprehensive and realistic description of the identity formation
experience (Erikson, 1968, 1975; Kroger, 1993b). A ``barrier'' designation provides a
diagnostic qualitative tool by which to identify external developmental forces imposed upon
individuals over which they have no control. Such a modification of Marcia's traditional
status structure to include environmental elements of identity formation is not designed to
highlight every individual limitation and/or difficulty. Rather, it is a means by which to
further identify and understand important contextual variables which greatly affect the
overall identity formation process, thereby directing future research towards a more accurate
and complete assessment of adolescent ego identity formation.

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