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Makman, M. (1989). Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987: Identify Diffusion: A Long-Term Follow-Up. Ruthellen Josselson. Pp. 230-258.. Psychoanal Q., 58:683.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987: Identify Diffusion: A Long-Term Follow-Up. Ruthellen Josselson. Pp. 230-258.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:683

Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987: Identify Diffusion: A Long-Term Follow-Up. Ruthellen Josselson. Pp. 230-258.

Marianne Makman

The author contrasts Erikson's and Kernberg's differing views about the long-term implications of "identity diffusion" in late adolescence, and then offers some long-term research data of her own in an effort to determine which view may be correct. Erikson has described identity diffusion in late adolescence as a prolonged phase of instability, a passing crisis on the road to adulthood. Kernberg believes the identity diffusion represents a pathological phenomenon, most likely a manifestation of borderline personality organization. The author studied eight women with problems of identity diffusion in college and then at twelve-year follow-up. The cases are described. On the basis of her findings, Josselson concludes that "identity diffusion in college is neither a unitary syndrome nor predictive of early adult functioning in any linear way."

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Article Citation

Makman, M. (1989). Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:683

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