The task of identity development is a process of balancing multiple values (Grotevant and Cooper 1998). For young women living in a society where values are in transition, such as Taiwan, this task may be particularly challenging. Forging their identity as an adult woman may have implications for their well-being. Adopting a mixed-method approach, the current study investigated two aspects of undergraduate Taiwanese women’s identity development: identity status and narrative identity. The study assessed achieved and diffused identity status as well as redemption and contamination, two aspects of narrative identity, as independent predictors of women’s psychological well-being. Eighty-five undergraduate women in Northern Taiwan (M age = 19.92, SD = 1.58) completed the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status. To assess aspects of narrative identity, they also provided a Self-Defining Memory narrative of a turning point in their lives. Specific interpretation sequences (i.e., redemption versus contamination) were reliably content-coded from the narratives. A Psychological Well-Being scale was also administered. As expected, results of hierarchical regressions show that having an achieved identity status (as found in US samples) predicts higher psychological well-being. Notably, however, showing redemption (i.e., as compared to contamination) in one’s narrative also uniquely predicted higher psychological well-being. Sociocultural factors and psychological processes that are associated with Taiwanese women’s identity development are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas