Androgyny and psychosocial development among college students and adults


Requests for reprints should be sent to Alan S. Waterman, Department of Psychology, Trenton State College, Hillwood lakes, CN 550, Trenton, N.J. 08625.


The present study examined the relation of androgyny to psychosocial development in the context of Erikson's life-span theory of personality. Samples of male and female college students and adults completed the Bem Sex Role Inventory and the Inventory of Psychosocial Development. The highest scores on psychosocial development were obtained by individuals with an androgynous orientation, followed by those with masculine, feminine, or undifferentiated orientations, in that order. Particular aspects of psychosocial development were differentially associated with masculinity and femininity, in accordance with the agentic or communal quality of successful resolutions of particular developmental crises. Overall, these results support the view that the simultaneous endorsement of both masculine and feminine qualities represents an added adaptive capacity. These findings applied equally to both sexes and both age groups studied.