Using concepts derived from information theory, a method for analyzing basic structural dimensions of self-images is described. The technique is applied to longitudinal self-image data collected from black and white adolescent boys over a four-year period.
On the basis of previous considerations of identity formation differences between these black and white adolescents, blacks were predicted to have more polarized, structurally simpler self-images. Results only partially confirm this hypothesis. Idealized and peer-related self-images are more polarized for the blacks. But both groups of adolescents show the same patterns for time-based self-images. Much of the comment is devoted to analyzing the significance of these different self-image patterns and their relation to racial factors and identity formation. An alternative framework for viewing polarization phenomena is presented and applied to these results.
Hauser ST. Adolescent Self-Image DevelopmentI. Longitudinal Studies of Black and White Boys. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(4):537-541. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750280097016