Characterizing the self-system over time in adolescence: Internal structure and associations with internalizing symptoms

S.J. Schwartz, T.A. Klimstra, K. Luyckx, W.W. Hale, W.H.J. Meeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The longitudinal effects among self and identity processes, and between these processes and internalizing symptoms, are not well understood. As a result, the present study was designed to ascertain the over-time effects among identity commitment, reconsideration of commitments, and self-concept clarity, as well as to map the interplay of these self and identity processes with anxiety and depressive symptoms in early adolescence. A sample of 923 Dutch adolescents (mean age 12.4 years at Time 1; 49.3% female) participated at each of five annual assessments. Multivariate growth curve and cross-lagged panel models indicated that the association between self-concept clarity and commitment was bidirectional, that reconsideration occurs based on problems or dissatisfaction with self-concept clarity and with identity commitments, and that self-concept clarity (but not commitment or reconsideration) temporally precedes depressive and anxiety symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of the structure of the self-system and its associations with internalizing symptoms.
Keywords: Self-concept clarity Personal identity Depressive symptoms Anxiety symptoms
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1225
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume41
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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