ATHLETIC IDENTITY AND EGO IDENTITY STATUS AS PREDICTORS OF CAREER MATURITY AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between degree of identification with the role of athlete (athletic identity), identity foreclosure, and career maturity among high school students. In the current study 275 high school students completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), The Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (EOM-EIS-2), and the Attitude scale (Screening Form A-2) of the Career Maturity Inventory. Pearson product moment correlations demonstrated that identity foreclosure scores were inversely related to career maturity. Athletic identity was also positively correlated with identity foreclosure. Multiple regression analyses were employed to test the mediation effects of identity foreclosure, in explaining the relation between athletic identity and career maturity. However, the analyses indicated that athletic identity was not significantly related to career maturity. Consequently, no mediational path was detected. Three separate exploratory MANOVAs were then performed to examine the effects of participation in interscholastic athletics (athletes [n = 133] vs. non-athletes [n = 142]), gender (males [n = 141] vs. females [n = 134]), and grade level (9th and 10th grade students [n = 53] vs. 11th and 12 grade students [n = 222]) on identity foreclosure, athletic identity and career maturity scores. The results indicated that athletes displayed significantly higher scores on athletic identity and identity foreclosure than their non-athlete peers. Males also scored significantly higher in athletic identity and identity foreclosure than females. Finally, students in lower grades exhibited significantly greater levels of athletic identity and identity foreclosed thinking. The only significant differences in career maturity were found for gender, with females exhibiting more mature vocational attitudes than males. The findings offered a glimpse at the relationship between identity and career development variables within a high school population. While student-athletes demonstrated a strong commitment to the athlete role and greater identity foreclosure, they did not appear to be distinct from non-athletes in terms of their vocational maturity.