MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Otto Zinser, Roger C. Bailey
The present study examined gender differences in relationship to ego integrity resolution of Erikson's stage theory and the need for control in the older adult ranging from 55-90 years of age. Erikson's ego integrity versus despair was measured with a subscale found in Measures of Psychological Development by Hawley (1988). The need for control was measured with a scale developed by Burger and Cooper (1979).
Because of social roles, it was first predicted that males would score higher on resolution of ego integrity and lower on the need for control. The mean resolution of integrity score for males (N=31) was 16.35 and for females (N=56), it was 16.27. The mean of need for control for males was 98.68 and for females was M=93.20.
Secondly, it was predicted that the lower age group (55 - 64 years old) would have a lower mean resolution of integrity score than the middle age group (65 - 74 years old) and that the high age group (75 years and up) would have a higher mean resolution of integrity score than the middle age group. However, results displayed the mean score for the lower age group was 16.50, for the middle age group it was 16.84; the high age group it was 15.35.
Thirdly, it was predicted that the lower age group (55 - 64 years old) would have a higher mean of need for control score than the middle age group (65 - 74 years old), and that the high age group (75 and up) would have a lower need for control score than the middle age group. The mean score for the lower age group was 97.50, the middle age group, was 98.16 and for the high age group it was 88.69.
A two factor (gender by age) ANOVA performed on the resolution of integrity and the need for control measures. However, no significant results were found.
All of the hypotheses were rejected because no statistical significance was obtained.
Limitations of the study included the size of the sample. It was too small. There were 87 participants, with 31 males and 56 females and only 5 males were in the high age group. It would be recommended for future research to examine a larger and more diverse sample. Future researchers may also wish to reconsider the age for resolution of integrity, because of the changes in lifestyle, medical innovations, and venues of employment, persons of 55 years of age may be too young to relate to the eighth stage of Erikson's stage theory. Future researchers may also want to consider the need for control measure predicting isolation, loneliness, loss of purpose and depression often associated with the aging.
Thesis - Open Access
Helm, Ginger, "Gender Differences of the Older Adult in Relationship to Ego Integrity and the Need for Control." (2000). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3. http://dc.etsu.edu/etd/3
Copyright by the authors.