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Working paper

What Kind of Self-Awareness Follows Growth: Facets of Self-Reflectiveness at Different Levels of Ego Development

A theory of ego development (ED), established by Jane Loevinger (1966), remains one of the strongest theoretical approaches to exploration of personality development. The ego development process seems to be somehow determined by the more particular mechanisms. The author and her followers often marked the self-awareness, or reflection, as one of such mechanisms that advances a person through the stages. At the same time, the general perspective of the links between the ego level and the basic personality characteristics is still less than clear. The below research is aimed to clarify how different types of reflection, basic personality dimensions and satisfaction with life indicators proceed and interact at the different stages of the personality evolution process. A sample of 259 adolescents and youths, participants of a summer school in Russia, aged from 14 to 25, answered on the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, the Differential Test of Reflection, the Big Five Questionnaire, and Satisfaction with Life scale. The positive and negative facets of reflection behaved ambiguously through the different stages of ED. There was an ascending linear dependence between the productive (Systemic) type of reflection and the ED level. At the same time, non-productive types of reflection (Quasi-Reflection and Introspection), although they were positively associated with Neuroticism and negatively linked to Satisfaction with Life, had no significant connections with the Ego Development level.