Characteristics of Women’s Identities in Crisis and Inter-crisis Age Periods

Keywords: identity, middle age, crisis of identity, dynamics of identity, status of identity, ethnic group, crisis period, inter-crisis period


Introduction. This paper examines the characteristics of identities in women of various ages and ethnic groups in crisis and inter-crisis age periods. The novelty of the research lies in studying the identities of women of Russian, Buryat, and mixed ethnic groups in crisis periods regardless of their age.

Methods. The study used the following techniques: (a) the Twenty Statements Test developed by M. Kuhn and T. MacPartland, (b) the Life Line technique developed by A. Kronik, and (c) the SEI test by developed E. L. Soldatova.

Results. Regardless of the periodization of crisis and inter-crisis periods in adulthood, the level of achieved identity is higher in the crisis periods. Meanwhile, the level of diffused identity is higher in the inter-crisis periods. Differences in identity statuses are mainly inherent to women of Russian ethnic group. The SEI test results showed no significant differences in women identifying themselves with Buryat ethnic group or those of the mixed ethnic group. Certain age periods are characterized by greatest differences in identity statuses. Differences in the achieved identity statuses refer to the period between the 35th and 46th year of age. Women older than 46 years of age demonstrate differences in the diffused identity statuses. During inter-crisis periods, women represent a great number of events that may happen to them in the future, as well as in the period of life that they subjectively refer to the future. During crisis periods, women with the status of achieved identity are characterized by a more detailed representation of their future. During crisis periods, women of Russian ethnic group plan their future in terms of their unique identities. Women of Buryat ethnic group plan their future being guided by social roles attributed to them.

Discussion. The empirical results obtained in this study are compared to those from previous studies in this field. The differences in the results are analyzed in terms of differences in the study samples, cultural aspects, and approaches to studying identity development.


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Author Biographies

Mikhail Y. Kuzmin, Scientific Center for Family Health and Human Reproduction Problems

candidate of psychological sciences, associate professor

Elena I. Mironova, Irkutsk State University

Senior Lecturer

Oksana A. Osipenok, Irkutsk State University

candidate of psychological sciences, associate professor


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How to Cite
Kuzmin, M. Y., Mironova, E. I., & Osipenok, O. A. (2019). Characteristics of Women’s Identities in Crisis and Inter-crisis Age Periods. Russian Psychological Journal, 16(3), 72-86.
Developmental Psychology and Acmeology