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March 1983

Ego Development and Self-image Complexity in Early AdolescenceLongitudinal Studies of Psychiatric and Diabetic Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Social-Psychiatry Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School (Dr Hauser and Ms Powers), the Joslin Diabetes Center (Drs Jacobson and Hauser), McLean Hospital (Drs Noam and Hauser), and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ms Powers), Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(3):325-332. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790030095012

• Ego development and multiple self-images were studied in nonpsychotic psychiatric patients, diabetic patients, and healthy high school students. The results reported are drawn from the first year of a four-year longitudinal project investigating the psychosocial development and family interactions of impaired and at-risk adolescents. Both groups of patients, especially the psychiatric group, were significantly lower in their ego development and showed less self-image complexity than the high school students. These findings are discussed both in terms of understanding developmental deviation in these two chronically ill groups, and as a strategy for investigating formulations being proposed in the new selfpsychology framework.