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flournat of Adolescence ~987, 10, 385--:397

D

I

t and

"i-a a u""
o n of the

" - -e t ~ 'ti "t y s c a l e
occupational m

JULIAN MELGOSA*t
Ego~identity research utilizing Marcia's (x966) identity s t a t u e s has been
prot'fte.
5 years. The four t y p ~ of s t a t u s e ~ a e h m v e m e n t ,
morator
diffusion~have become part of the ego-identity
dcvel~
~mem of a research tool to ~tudy fu~her one
of the
development (occttpati~al dimension)was
percei
, items w e ~ created utilizing the criteria
~tabhshed by previous research and content validated ~
~rts.
These statements were validated by 4z7 students from
and
colleges,
n s es were analyzed and measures o[ eon~trx~et ar.d co~eu~ent
vahd!ty were obtamed~ Also indexes of ~nternal e o ~ s t e n e y n d i~em
d~serimination were ~ t i m a t e d . Through factor anaiysis techniques~ four

0,79, when correlated with a similar instrument. After deletion of those items
that did not conteibute significantly to the validity of the instrument, a
z8.1tem Oce~Jpational Identity Scale w a s established.

T h e crisis of identity in the adolescent years was first explained by Erikson
(z95o) identifying three important areas of problems to be encountered by
young people in their attempt to resolve this crisis. These were sexual,
ideological, and occupational identities. Marcia (~964, 2966) operationally
defined these a
or din-lensions and st|tauNted a great deai of research
when he introd
his "Identity Status Interview" (ISI) (Marcia, I
to
asse~ the four egoqdentity s t a t ~ e s (achier
t, rn
6urn, forecl
,
and diffusion). An at
was done in this study to dec
val
ea
r a e ~ u r e of
-identity statt~s referred to the occupati0nai area by i t ~ | f . ~ e
area of occupational identity was perceived ~ the
imp
of the
* Reprint ~qu~ts to Julian Mel~ss, i~istam Profe~r of Ed~¢atlunal P~y~ehoTo~, Coicgio
Advemieta de Sa~mo, ~ r r ~ e r a de P~res s/n, Apartada 5a, Sagunto (Valencia) Spain,'
"~This article.ls based on the author's dissertation, °Occupational identity ~essment among
middle and late adolescents," submitted to the School of Education, Andrews Unive~i~, Berrien
Springs, Mi~Igan,
o~t97~t87I~4o38S + z~ ~ o o / o

~ ~987 The A~ociation for ~e Psy~M~t~cStudy of Ado[escen~

386
I. MELGOSA
three. The choice of an occupation i~ one of the
disturbance in adolescence. It is probably the
number of individuals. "It is primarily the
occupational idendty which disturbs young

most s~gnificant sources of
area affeetiug the greatest
inability to settle on an
people" (Erikson, x95o,

p. zz8).
t~ 196o, the number of young pebple a
~5 to ~4 was %~ per cent of the
population; ~n t98o, that same group has risen to over t 7 per cent (U.$.
Bureau of the Census, I98~). CM
, this fact adds more to the regular
unemploymem rates due to the econ
e crisis: over 2o per cent of all
teen
ng
have been u
ployed comp
to 9 per cent of all
workers (U.So Bu
of Labor Stall
~ I # 2 ) . In
e inneveity areas,
the teenage minority" unem
m~t
has run as high as 7° per ~ n t or
(Co
and Pe
a, ~984).
re
instru
to
ss
tl
identity are reported in
"
1 y t w o k : rods;' the untdtme~.siona
""
"
l scales,
the literature. There are basical
which
the p
m of identity as a s i @ e
r, rand the
riat or
multidimens
ures, which exp
the four identity statuses.
There are many instances within the first type of scales (
antinoNe,
~969; Dignan, ~965; Erwin, ~979; Marcia, ~964; Simmons, x970; "Fan,
Kendis, Rine and Porae, i977; Whitbourne, Jeisma and Waterman, x98e).
However, the Nctorml scales seem to be most relevant to this study.
The "Identity Status Inverview" (Marcia, ~964, i96~6), the "Objective
Measure of Ego Identity Status" (Adams, $hea and Fitch, I979), and the
"Dellas Identity Status Inventory-O" (Deltas and Iernigan, ~98x) are the
only three measures yielding four factors: the Identity Statuses. The
"Identity Status Intemiew" (ISI) has a semistructured guideline and its
administration time r a n ~ s between I S and 30 minutes. It is divided into
several sections: Introduction, Occupation, Religion, Politics, Sex Role, and
Sexual Intercourse. T h e interviewer must rate the subject's responses to
assign him or her to one of the four statuses. An acceptable inter-scorer
reliability of 0.77 has been reported (Marcia, x976). In a later study, several
authom (Grotevant, Thorbecke and Meyer, I98~) added two new dimen~
sions to the interview: friendship and da t lng~
they also introduced a few
modifications in the administration and s c ortng
' procedures.
The "Objective Measure of
Identity Status" (OM-EIS) was designed
by Adams and his associates (t979) when they d
oped an objective scale to
measure the identity statuses in reference to
pation, politics, and
" i on. This is a 24-tt
" e m scale, with six items per status and t-,~-ai~ms per
rehg
di~wnsion," per status. Items are
d by
ting the "st
y agree"
with a value of 6 and % t r o @ y d
tee" with a value of x. Interna~
consistency (using
h's Alpha) coefficients
ng
0"67 to o-76
and test-retest rellabilities ~ t w e e n o.7z and 0"93 are repo
. A~alysis of

OCCUPATIONAL iDENTITY SCALE

387

Variance (ANOVA) n d l ~ t e s overall slgnifieant differences between
statuses; but individual comparisons find only differences between diffusions
and achievements. Adams and Jones (I983) show rusher evidence of
diseriminant construct vaiidiW (r = - o . , ~ p < o.ooI) b e t w e ~ the diffusion
and identity-achievement status, and higher Cronbacla Alphas (o'75 or
highe 0 are reported to show internal consistency.
The D I S I - O uses a fo red-choice approach that allows the subject to
choose one S tatement as M O S T L I K E ME in a set of five statements. This
procedure helps the m est:gator to aenttty individual status classifications
(four statements out of eight chosen as M O S T L I K E ME would assign that
individual to that status). Reliability coefficients ranging between 0"64 an~
o'9a are reported. Factor analysis revealed S factors (diffusion being divided
into two types) accounting for 59 per cent of the variance,
From tim ~conceptual as well as methodologicnl standpoints, it seems
appropriate to analyze the dlffe r ent areas of identity in a separate way.
According to Coleman (z977), the i o' e ntlty
"" domains appear to have different
developmental histories. Ro.gow, Marcia and Slugoski (x 983) introduced two
new interpe~onal-sexuaI areas of identity ("attitudes toward sexual expression" and "sexual role beliefs"). Only x7 out of the 80 college students who
constituted the sample of the study had the same ~evel of identi~ across all
five content areas. In addition, another study (Adams el al., ~979) states that
"
"one may have an occ upat~onai
comml"tmerit without an accompanying
political or religious commitment" {p. ~36).
In order to discover the nature of occupational identity, as evidenced by
various idemity ~atuses,- it "xas decided to study the problem separate from
sexual, political, and religious identities~ Marcia's classification (i966) of
identity s~tuses was found to be an appropriate m ~ e l to cover this need.
However, Marcia
) "Identity Status -Interview
" "~ " (ISI) had
' ' s instrument (~
two mani we'akne~ses: (I) it was designed to obtain a score in overali ~ o
identity and (2) it had a moderate liner-rater reliability, which made the
instrument less objective, The "Objective Measure of E g o Identity"
(OM-EtS) embraced a l t a mensmr~. This was appropriate to obtain an
o-verall picture of occupational, ehgmus, and political areas, but not
suffident for a detailed analysi~ of the occupational area, since the (3M-EIS
has only two occupational items per status. The D I S [ - O is centered on the
occupational area, but oNy ciassifies the su~ects in either of the "four
statuses, without exploring their degree of commitment to the others. Thus,
it was apparent that there was a need to develop a measure of oceupationaI
identity able to yield Marcta s identity statuses, which are. a" veer large
representation of all[ research on e ~ identity done in the past. Therefore, the
purpose of this study was m develop and validate art O C cupatmnaladertt~ty
. . . . .
scale able to yield a quanttta tee score on each.of the statues.

388

J. MELGOSA

METHOD

Item development
Based on Erikson's (i95o, ~968) and Marcia's (x966, t967) description of
each of the statuses, 3~ items were developed, eight per status. Each of the
statements was produced to asse~ a population of upper-levei high-school
students as well as
r-level college students (ages I6 to 20 years). T h e list
'
S ;, experts i
"
" t y and the
of items was sent to I6 judge
the field of ego identl
egotity statuses, as evide
by the publication in
ologicaI
~ou
~ two or more research artiet~ on the idendty sta
.
J
were asked to evaluate the st
ents for
t validity. T h e y
were m rate ~ c h
ent in a s ~ l e from ~ (
lid) to 5 (v~id) as they
judged the validity of the slat
r~s for'ass
ent put
s. Of the z6
j
, x i pa
pated in the evalua
, four did not answer, and one
refused to participate. Items with a mean score of 3"00 or less were
automatically disca
(one achie
t item and one di
item were
dropped). T h e remaining 30 item m
ra
between 3"2 and 4"8, with an
overall mean of 4"0. Some of these 3° items
ed according to the
recommendation of the judges. Th~se revised items were arras
randomly,
m~d n u m b e r e d from i to 3o.

To obtain indexes of reliability and validity, 4!7 students (x88 men, 2at
women. 8 did not say) were randomly selected from three high schools (one
private and two public institutions) and three colleges (one private and two
public institutions) located within the state of Michigan. Higt~ school
students were z3o from grades I ~ and x~. College students were t87 and were
in their freshman or sophomore year.
r~

T h e experimenter administered personally the thirty occupational identity
items. Along with this, the e @ t oceupationa| items from the Objective
Measure of Ego.Identity Status ( O M - E I S ; Adams et aL, ~979) were added
in order to obtain a
sure of
rrent validity. In addition, students
were
their sex,
e level, arid age, This was done in class
environments at the
nning or the end of a
lar class period, according
to the p
e of the in
tor. Instructions were stan
. The
researcher .told the subjects. "This is a set of stwcements a b o u t ) ~ u r
eeeupationa| plans. You are to eval
them as you
or agree
them, f r o m ' x ( s t r o n g l y ' d i s a g r e e ) t o 5 (strongly a gre
e ) . " " Students were
reminded not to miss any ~tems~ Once the stu
Is had responded, the
er eoliected the
. T h e time n
to W e the

OCCUPATIONAL IDENTI~

SCALE

389

instructions as well as to eomple~ the scale r a ~ e d from iz to x5 minutes
depending on the s i ~ of the ~ o u p .
Since Marcia's previous research
sts four stat
, which can he
c.nsidered ~ constructs, a Co n h*~ a t o r y approach was adopted in this stud)-.
*
Therefore, four facto~ were hypo t h~ized.
A principal component factor
analysis with varimax rota t*1on was carried out for four facto~ using
BMDP4M. Also, the same analysis was performed using oblique rotation. In
order to support the four-factor hypothesis, the analysis w ~ done with other
numbers of factors ( i .e., two, three, four, fi"ve, and six)expecting them to
contrast with the four-factor structure.
T h e above analyses were intended to yidd factor load[n~ to use as criteria
of inclusion in the scfle and in the specific factor. Additionally, it was
expected that construct validity for the identity statuses in the occupational
area would be md~c ted through factor analysis. A cut-off point of o. 4 was
used for the factor loading.
Item analysis was also performed to obtain a reliability coefficient alpha for
each of the scales, which is a measure of internal consistency. A
pomt-multtsenal oe nctent between each item and the scale of which it is a
part was computed as a criteria of inclusion in the scale. A cut-off of 0"4 was
a ~ln
'
"'
' I coefficient to include 1to
'
l ~s in the
set as the minimum po i nt-muttLserm
scale.
T o obtain concurrent ahdlty between the OM-EIS (Adams et al., x979)
and the instrument developed in this study (Occupational Identity S ~ I e - OIS), a correlation matrix (8 × 8) was cateulated b e t w e ~ the total ~ o r e
obtained by each individual on each status, as measured by the O I S , and the
equivalent total ~ o r e on the occupational items from the OM-EIS. It was
expected that each particular scale within the O I S would correlate with the
c o r r e s ~ n d i n g ~ a l e from the OM-EIS.

RESULTS
When the .number ~ factors was limited to four, all items hbeled as
moratorium (8) loaded above 0. 5 on factor z ; all items labeled as achievement
(7) loaded above o'6 on factor u; with the exception of item. ~o, all the
~maining foreclosure items (7) loaded above o-45 on factor 3; and, .with the
eXeeptlon of item 6, all the remaining diffusion items (6) loaded above o,44
on factor 4, These foqr factors accounted for 45 percent of the total variance.
. The program was run with two,, three, five and. six factom and no
improvement was observed. Likewise, an oblique rotation with four factors
was obtained and the proportion of variance explained .:vas less than using

J, M~LGOSA

~go

T a b l e 1. Sorted ~tated faetor loadings afler deletion of i t . s 6 and Io
...........

z

~1111]]11]

H II

..............

:. :; :.~

:.................................

.............

Va6abie
Name

Factor
~(A)

Factor
z(M)

Factor
3(F)

Factor
4(D)

25

.
Achievement-5

o •7 8S

o'ooo

o~ooo

o-oc~

~7

Achievement.6

~
~z

Achlevement-7
Achievement-3
Aehievemer~t- 4
Achic~cment-x
Achievcment.z
Moratorium-4
Mora~oriuro-7
Moratorium-8
Moratorium'3
Moratorium-6
Moratorium-~
Mora~o~um-~
Moratorium-5

o"784
0.756
0"678
o'676

o.ooo
o'ooo
o'ooo
o-ooo

o'ooo
o'ooo
o'o0o
o.ooo

o,o~
o'o~
o-ooo
o'ooo

o'675

o'ooo

o-ooo

o'ooo

o,6x 9
o' ooo
o'o~
o'ooo
o'o~

o-0oo
0"757
0"74.6
o-686
o- 65 ~

o'ooo
o-ooo

o'ooo
o.ooo

o-0~

o'ooo

o-ooo

o'ooo

o~o~

0"637

o'o~
o'~

o'ooo
o-ooo

o°~o
o'o~o
o'c~

0"626
0"575
0"509
o'o~

O'~

O-~O

o'~
o'732

o'ooo
o-~o
o'ooo

o'67z

o'ooo

o,66~

o,ooo
o'ooo

Itc~

3
5
z~
x9
23

7
~4
z
2
~2
z6
17
zo
~5

Foreclosure-7

o'ooo

Forec]osure-s

o*ooo

Foreclosure-6

o'ooo
o'ooo

o'ooo
o-ooo
o'ooo

o'ooo
o' ooo
o.ooo
o, ooo
o~ooo
o-ooo

o'ooo
o.ooo
o'ooo
o.ooo
o'o~
o.ooo

o-ooo
o-o~
o'~

o.o~

~8
9
4

13
8

Forecl°sure~4
Forec]osure-8
Foreclosure-a
Foreelosure-x
Diffusion-7
Diffusion.3
Diffusion-~

z~

Diffusion-6

~8
~6

Oilfusion-5
Diffusion-4

o'~
o'~

o*~

o'6o~
0"566
o.~s
o'46z
o.ooo
o'ooo
o-ooo
o-o~
o-o~
o'o~

o'ooo
o.ooo
o'ooo
o'7zo
o'67o
o'66z
o-~6
o'598
o*~

o r t h o g o n a l r o t a t i o n . T h e r e f o r e , as e x p e c t e d , a f o u r - f a c t o r s t r ~ t u r e e m e r g e d
f r o m t h i s analysis.
A f t e r h a v i n g a d o p t e d t h i s s t r u c t u r e , items 6 a n d ~o w e r e r e m o v e d because
of t h e i r low l o a d i n g s ( o ' 3 8 a n d o ' ~ 9 , re~speetively). I t e m 6 b e l o n g e d to t h e
d i f f u s i o n scale a n d i t e m ~o to t h e f o r e c l o s u r e scale. T h e r e f o r e , z8 i t e m s were
k e p t for f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s . O f t h e s e , t h e r e w e r e e i g h t m o r a t o r i u m i t e m s , ~ v e n
) V ement
ach!e
i t e m s , s e v e n f o r e c l o s u r e i t e m s , a n d six d i f f u s i o n i t e m s . A
"
p r i wc~pal
c o m p o n e n t f a c t o r a t ~ 1y s l' s w i t h v a r i m a x r o t a t i o n was r u n u s i n g t h e
e
ram BMD
, w i t h i t e m s 6 ~ d m rernoved~
I includes the
ro
f~tor
n ~ w i t h t h e 28 r e t a i n e d i t e m s s o r t e d ; so
the
runs
a
in d
n g o r d e r o f vari
explained,
i
0"4 were

by zcro$.

0CCUP_~TIONAL IDENTITY SCALE
39~
Table g. Eigenvaluesand pre~mion of cumulative van'ance explained by the factors
Cumulatiee

Factor
z

z
3
4

Name

Eigenva|ue

pro~rt~nat
variance

6.52z
3'o~
~'4o5
r.735

o,~33
o'3,~o
o"426

Achievement
Moratorium
Foreclosure
Diffusion

o'488

Forty-nir, e per cent of the total vari_
was a c c o u n t d for by t h ¢ ~ four
factors when the 28 selected i ~ m s were factor a n a l y ~ d . Table z ~ves the
variance explained by each factor (eigenvalues) as well as the cumulative
"
'
p r oportlon
of total V artanee,
fte~ ann

All
(even
exe
in the
r
) were
into
four ~ a l ~ and
te
a ~ l y s ~ were p
r
I
6 and io
ined the
point-mu
I correlations, which was consistent with
the factor analysis. AddidonM analyses were executed dropping low-scoring
items (specifically items 6 and xo) one at a time and then l o a t h e r . After
examining s~everal computer print-outs, it was evident that the exclusion of
items 6 and co would imprx~ve the reliability coefficient of the scale.
r, dropping none of the o ~ e r low i
helped to improve the
re|iability
t of the sca|e. T h e r e f o r ,
6 and item xo were
di
the instru
.
e 3 specifies pMnt-nauItiserial c
alions for each of the items, seam by scale.
Table 4 shows the reliability coefficient alpha of the scales along with other
information (number of items,-range~ mean, and standard deviation).
Coefficiem alpha for achievement and moratorium scales (o-8 7 and 0"84) did
not suffer alteration, s
no item was definitely, d
from t
.
ver, in the case of
re and di
n scales,
ity
roe
ien~ of o'7~ and 0"68, res~-~ctively, were found*
having the
itenas excluded, whereas those same coefficients were o-72 and 0"70 when the
items were d~carded. T h u s , certain improvement in the reliability of the two
scale, was noticed after the final selection of items. T h e list'of these selected
item~ are in
ndix A. Percentile ranks, "wdaichcan be used for
arison
purp
in further appliea
of the O I S may be obtained fr6m h~e author:
£ u r r . $ n t ¢3,2

Each subject's scores on aft individuaI item was added to ~e~ rest~of the
~ o r e s on items under the same seale. This was done for. both:the OM-EIS

J. MELGOSA

39:~

Table 3. Point.multisedat
Aehlevement scale
I~m

p o,~t
:
multisefial

3 (A~)
$ (Az)
gz (A3)

o'7973
o'75~
o'75zx

tiom

Moratorium zeale
Item

Point
muktsertM

t (Mi)

0'7637
o'7047
o'772z

xr (M4)

zs(As)
z7 (A6)

~ (Ms)
0"7906
o'7~65

Diffusion scale

Foreclosure scale
Item

Point
muhtser~a

~S (F4)
~7(F5)
zo (F6)
28 (FS)

o-671o
0"6678
o-72x9
0'5788

Point
multiserial

ltem
=======================

o'5Io7
o'5I~7

o'7737
0"76.39
0"6830

t9 (M7)
~3 (MS)

8 (D2)
I3 (D3)
~6(D4)
~8 (D 5)
2x (D6)
30 (D7)

t J

,

!

~

o.6 ~ 6
o'6Agt
o 55 7
o'63S2
o'63~
o'~7o

o
tLonal items and the O I S .
ation co
ients were o b ~ i n e d for
each pair of scores. Res~alts
ear in Table 5nyms in pare
idemify the instrument. Thus, correlations for the corresponding scales
-were: 0.79, 0'68, o'38, and o'43 for achievement, moratorium, foreclosure,
and diffusion, respectively.
As
, achieve
scores corrdated negatively w i t h moratorium
with
scores. T h i s ~s due to the
t[on of "a
"
ego identity
d in ach
ent ind/viduals,
h is the op
in
moratorium~aad di
on subjects. Contrary to what was hy
sized,
moratorium scores obtained through the O I S were fairly highly correlated
with the~ diffusion scores from the O M - E I S . I n ,fact, this correlation
coefficient (o'46) was higher than the correlation coefficient between scores
from both diffusion scales (o'43).
T h i s f ~ t may be
to the nature of"low
ty"
n ~ both
m and di
ns
es. I n
on, the low n u m b e r of i
(z)

OCCOPATIONAL IDENTITY SCALE

3~

Table 4. Range,, mean, ~-tandard deviation, and ~Ha

Scale

nt a41x~,afor the

No. o~
items

Range

Mean

Standard
deviation

Reliability
~efficient

7
8
7
6

7-35
8~39
7-35
6~

at'o
23'7
x¢'9
z r'5

7"0

7.6
4"9
4"z

o'8734
o'846x
o.72o5
o'~4

A-Achievement
M-Moratorium
F-For~losure
D-Diffusion

Table 5, List of ~ m l a t f o n s f~r g

d ~'ores of each stattL~ as m e ~ u ~ d by ~ t h
tn$117xt~tetl l$

=

........... ~

:

= M - -

A(OM-EIS)
M(OM-EIS}
F(
-EIS)
D
-:EIS)
. . . . . . .

:

_-_.:

.......

: _ ~

. . . . . . . . . . .

A(OIS)

M(01 S)

F(OI S)

D (OIS)

0"79
-o'¢7

-o'45
0"68
o'I7
o-46

o'23
--~'o6
0"38
o-~3

-o'~8
0"37
O'36
0,43

O'OS

-o,2T
. . . .

=::::

:::::

-

am

per status included by A d a m s and his associates might explain this
unexpected result, Furthermore, the diffusion scale in the O I S is ~ e weakest
of all the scales, as far as factor loadlngs and reliability coefficient alpha are
'
concerned, and it is the scale i neIudlng
the least number of 1'teros.
DISCUSSION
As it w ~ h y p o t h e s i z e , the four'ego-identity statuses were found to be valid
for the a r m of occupational identity, as evidenced by the four-faetor~structure
of the ,eale. This implies that previous research and theory on general
' m ight be applicable to the area of occupations. Further research
ego identtty
could be aimed at the study of the relationship of occupational identity with
the many personality characteristics already related to overall i dentlty.
" The
quality of vocational counsel ing could improve as a result of utilizing-the
OIS. It provides means to determine precise nature and. levels of
c o m ~ t m e n t to an occupati hal choice. Thus, the p actittoner in vocational
ounseImg ~ n use ~ u i t s to focus his attention on one or two'of the statu£~
and a t a s~clflc"
~ level. For e " ple, in"*dealing'
"*" ~;itt~an average achiever~
"~ . . . . .wit" h
low scores on the other scales, the counselor will not-have to worry about
showing the advantages of careers other than the chosen,onel b u t on the
various options within the llne the subject chose.
C

~

*


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