Document Type


Publication Date



This study assessed the usefulness of the Identity Distress Scale (IDS), a measure modeled after the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed., rev. [DSM–III–R]; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) defined Identity Disorder, by investigating links between identity distress and poor psychological adjustment in at-risk middle adolescents. A significant proportion (16%) met DSM–III–R criteria for Identity Disorder, and 34% met the more liberal criteria for Identity Problems as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Significant associations were found between identity distress and both internalizing and externalizing symptoms. The IDS appears to be useful for identifying youth experiencing significant difficulties in developing an identity and for exploring links between Identity Problems and other areas of psychological functioning.


Originally published in Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. Volume 6. Issue 1. Pages 27–33. 2006.