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Psi Chi Journal Winter 2010


Volume 15.4 | Winter 2010
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

The Relation Between Family Functioning, Ego Identity, and Self-Esteem in Young Adults

Jennifer A. Schumacher, Marian University

ABSTRACT: We examined the potential influence of family characteristics on ego identity and self-esteem among emerging adults. College students (N = 210, M = 19.52 years, 65% women) completed measures of self-esteem, ego-identity, and family functioning (General Family Functioning, Communication, Roles, Affective Responsiveness, Affective Involvement, and Behavior Control). In a multiple regression analysis, self-esteem was predicted by ego identity, general family functioning, and gender. Similarly, when ego-identity was the criterion variable, it was predicted by self-esteem, general family functioning, and gender. We further examined the nature of these relations using a path model. Healthy family functioning predicted stronger ego identity which in turn was predictive of higher self-esteem. In addition, being male was significantly related to higher self-esteem whereas being female was related to higher ego identity.

Dissecting Faith: Comparing Religiousness and Spirituality to Self-Construal and Religious Orientation

Michael Dooley, Donna Jones, and Eric Zupko, University of Mary Washington

ABSTRACT: In contrast to studies comparing personal and social aspects of faith, this study used measures of religious orientation (Allport & Ross, 1967), self-construal (Singelis, 1994), organizational religiousness (National Institute on Aging, 2003), and spiritual transcendence (Seidlitz et al., 2002) to investigate the psychosocial mindsets related to an individual’s religiousness and spirituality. We hypothesized that internal desires to believe as well as the tendency to define the self in terms of internal thoughts and actions would predict spiritual transcendence (spirituality). Conversely, we hypothesized that external motivations and the tendency to gain self-understanding from interpersonal relationships would predict organizational religiousness (religion). Findings from 244 online survey responses indicated that external influences largely motivated organizational religiousness, yet there also had to exist an internal desire to believe. In addition, measures of spirituality showed greater relation to external motivations and interdependence than hypothesized.

Communication and Sexual Behaviors Within Adolescent Couples

Michael R. Langlais and Katherine L. Kivisto, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

ABSTRACT: We investigated the relation between communication within adolescent couples and their sexual and affectionate behaviors. Data came from 209 male-female couples aged 14–21 who had dated a minimum of 4 weeks. Findings revealed that nonsexual communication predicted less frequent intimate touching behaviors (over clothes), less frequent oral sex, and less frequent sexual intercourse. Sexual communication was associated with greater frequencies of affectionate and sexual behaviors, including intercourse. Adolescents who tended to have later age of first intercourse also communicated more openly in their relationships, whereas communication about sex was unrelated to age of first intercourse.

Education and Communication: Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence

Eleanor F. Nelson, Grinnell College

ABSTRACT: We examined the relation between sex and relationship education, communication, and prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among college-aged women. We hypothesized that (a) women who received more comprehensive sex and relationship education would report fewer IPV experiences, (b) women who received their sex and relationship education from certain sources would report fewer instances of IPV, and (c) women who communicated more with partners would experience fewer instances of IPV. The study consisted of a survey completed by 48 women at a liberal arts college regarding their IPV history, sex and relationship education, and communication with partners. The first hypothesis was not supported; however, the results showed that women who did not receive their education from a medical professional and women who communicated more with their partner experienced fewer instances of IPV. These results suggest the need for additional research into types of education as tools for preventing IPV and the importance of communication within relationships.

Memory for Passwords: The Effects of Varying Number, Type, and Composition

Lindsey Payton, University of Akron

ABSTRACT: For optimal security, computer scientists recommend using long (at least 8 character) passwords containing randomly ordered, lower case letters, numbers, and capital letters. In the laboratory and more realistic longer term tests, I tested the effects of some of these recommendations on participants’ memory. Not surprisingly, longer passwords were less likely recalled than shorter ones, and accuracy for remembering random passwords was much lower than for remembering words. However, memory accuracy for letter strings constructed to be similar to words, both in letter frequency and in letter-to-letter transition probabilities, was not much lower than accuracy for words. Such pseudowords are not as secure as random passwords, but they are not susceptible to dictionary attack. The findings suggest that both memorability and security are important to consider in constructing useful passwords.

Crime Type, Proximity of Crime Perpetrator, and Just World Theory Attributions

Mary Katherine Davison, Hood College

ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of crime type (rape, murder, theft) and perpetrator proximity to the victim (stranger, date, family member) on crime severity ratings and perpetrator and victim blame attributions through a 3 x 3 (Latin Square) mixed design. There were 2 significant main effects and 2 significant interaction effects. The 180 participants rated murder and rape as equally serious crimes and more serious crimes than theft. Participants blamed perpetrators—and therefore less—in rapes and murders than they did in thefts. In addition, and unexpectedly, participants increasingly blamed victims when the perpetrator proximity decreased (from family member, to date, to stranger).

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