The imaginary audience and personal fable: Factor analyses and concurrent validity of the 'New Look' measures
SourceJournal of Research on Adolescence, 12, 2, (2002), pp. 193-216
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
Journal of Research on Adolescence
This study examined key components of the "New Look" at the imaginary audience and personal fable constructs. Toward this end, data from four samples of Belgian high school students (N= 1,458) were analyzed. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses failed to confirm that the measures associated with the New Look theory, the New Imaginary Audience Scale, and the New Personal Fable Scale (NPFS), tapped a common underlying construct. Only the invulnerability and omnipotence subscales of the NPFS proved to be highly related. In line with the New Look theory, boys were found to believe more strongly in their own uniqueness, invulnerability, and omnipotence than were girls. Higher scores on the invulnerability and omnipotence subscales were associated with lower levels of depression and loneliness. Finally, each aspect of the personal fable seemed to have its own specific role in the process of separation – individuation. Implications of these findings for the New Look theory of the imaginary audience and the personal fable are discussed. Suggestions for future research are put forth, with particular emphasis on the role of the invulnerability/omnipotence complex in adolescent development and behavior and on the family resemblances among the various aspects of the personal fable.
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