Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret Glenn.


Identity development theory suggests that the developmental trajectory from childhood through young adulthood involves a movement from exploration towards eventual tentative commitment to adult values, beliefs, and career goals. Currently little research has focused on the impact of personality traits commonly studied in personal counseling and career work with collegeattending emerging adults on the process of identity development. This study examined the predictive quality of personality preferences on Erickson's and Marcia's operationalization of identity status. More specifically, do particular personality preferences derived from the Myers- Briggs Typology Indicator more often result in particular Eriksonian identity statuses (i.e., foreclosed, diffused, moratorium or achieved) with college-attending young adults? Personality traits were measured by the MBTI and identity status was measured via the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status. Multinomial logistical regression was employed in the study with odds ratios constituting the measure of effect size. Emerging adults attending a Southern public land grant institution participated in the study. Demographic information was collected and included in the model. Several findings suggested how the MBTI personality preferences may predict exploration of, and commitment to, adult beliefs, values and career goals for individual who exhibited Extroversion, Intuition and Judging preferences. The Perceiving preference approached significance. There was also a novel finding regarding ethnicity and ego identity development. Students who identified as ethnic minorities reported greater odds of explored commitments compared to their White peers. Clinical implications and suggestions for further research were also discussed.