Gender Differences in Identity Features and Self-Determination Process

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Authors: Natalia V. Antonova & Natalia L. Ivanova, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia
Published: August 2016

Citation: Antonova, N. V., & Ivanova, N. L. (2016). Gender Differences in Identity Features and Self-Determination Process. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 2(2).


This article describes the results of the investigation which was conducted among adult Russian males and females. The purpose of the investigation was to describe the gender differences of identity and self-determination process. In this investigation we also confirmed our model of identity statuses that was elaborated on the base of Marcia’s model. Forty-five people were interviewed. The results indicate that women have the identity status "open stable identity" more often than men (p<0.05), and it is accompanied by the more intensive process of self-determination (p<0.05). The identity status "closed stable identity" is more typical for men (p<0.05), and is associated with the weakening of the desire for change that may hinder the process of self-determination and self-development. For women, the main stimulus of self-determination is the family's welfare, and for men the main stimulus is self-development and achievement of status in society. Based on these results, we elaborated a program of individual coaching for women, which promotes open innovation processes and self-determination. The results can be also used in family therapy and occupational counseling.


self-determination, identity status, social identity, personal identity, decision-making, gender differences