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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229726 Find in a Library
Title: Identity Formation in Adolescence: Change or Stability?
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:February 2010  Pages:150-162
Author(s): Theo A. Klimstra; William W. Hale III; Quinten A.W. Raaijmakers; Susan J. T. Branje; Wim H. J. Meeus
Date Published: February 2010
Page Count: 13
Document: HTML (Publisher Site)
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this study, a three-dimensional model was applied to a sample of middle and late adolescents to assess stability and change in identity formation.
Abstract: The aim of this five-wave longitudinal study of 923 early to middle adolescents (50.7 percent boys; 49.3 percent girls) and 390 middle to late adolescents (43.3 percent boys and 56.7 percent girls) is to provide a comprehensive view on change and stability in identity formation from ages 12 to 20. Several types of change and stability (i.e., mean-level change, rank-order stability, and profile similarity) were assessed for three dimensions of identity formation (i.e., commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration), using adolescent self-report questionnaires. Results revealed changes in identity dimensions towards maturity, indicated by a decreasing tendency for reconsideration, increasingly more in-depth exploration, and increasingly more stable identity dimension profiles. Mean levels of commitment remained stable, and rank-order stability of commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration did not change with age. Overall, girls were more mature with regard to identity formation in early adolescence, but boys had caught up with them by late adolescence. Taken together, our findings indicate that adolescent identity formation is guided by progressive changes in the way adolescents deal with commitments, rather than by changes in the commitments themselves. Tables, figure, and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Adolescent attitudes
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Interpersonal maturity; Longitudinal studies; Personality assessment; Self concept
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