Personality Prototypes and Ego Development: Conceptual Similarities and Relations in Adult Women

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Abstract

Three studies investigated how three personality prototypes (K. York & O. P. John, 1992) relate to J. Loevinger's (1976) stages of ego development (ED). Study 1 examined their conceptual similarities, and Study 2 their relations in a sample of adult women. In both studies, the personality prototypes mapped onto regions defined by multiple ED stages: The Individuated prototype was most likely to reach the high region of ED (Individualistic, Autonomous, and Integrated); the Traditional prototype was most likely to function in the middle region (Conformist, Self-aware, and Conscientious); and the Conflicted prototype was most likely to remain in the low region (Impulsive and Self-protective). In addition to these between-prototype differences, Study 3 explored whether differences in life outcomes within the prototypes are also related to ED; findings suggest that personality prototype and ego development may interact in shaping the life course.

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