The relationships between perceived parenting behavior, internal working models of parental attachment, and identity style
Identity formation is an important part of personality development during adolescence (Erikson, 1980). According to Erikson (1968), parenting behaviors in childhood involving care and the encouragement of autonomy will affect identity formation through a process of introjection of these aspects of parents. Thus, the present study examined the associations among perceived parenting behavior in childhood, the internal working model of parental attachment, and identity style in adolescence. The present study proposed that perceived parenting behaviors in childhood related to care and overprotection would be associated with the processing of self-relevant information as reflected in Berzonsky's (1990) three identity styles. In addition, it was hypothesized that the current internal working model of parental attachment would be related to adolescent identity style. The subjects were 166 undergraduate students from a private urban university. Each subject was asked to complete a packet of questionnaires which included demographic information, the Identity Style Inventory, the Parental Bonding Instrument, and the Relationship Questionnaire. The findings suggested that perceived parenting behaviors related to care and overprotection were associated with identity style. Furthermore, the nature of these associations differed for each identity style and for maternal versus paternal parenting behaviors. Internal working models of parental attachment also related to identity style and these relationships differed for each identity style. In general, the findings were consistent with Erikson's (1968) theory that parenting behaviors and internal parental models will affect identity formation in adolescence.
Albanese, Marisa N, "The relationships between perceived parenting behavior, internal working models of parental attachment, and identity style" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9628326.