Distinctiveness as a marker of identity formation

L. Van Doeselaar*, T. A. Klimstra, J.A. Denissen, W.H.J. Meeus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Individual distinctiveness is theorized to characterize an adaptive identity, but its importance remained underexplored. In two studies, we investigated the nomological networks of two common conceptualizations of distinctiveness: general and comparative distinctiveness. We compared these to the network of identity formation’s best-validated marker: commitment. Findings from two samples of young adults living in the Netherlands (n = 320) and in the US (n = 246) both revealed that general distinctiveness marked adaptive identity formation and greater psychosocial well-being. Moreover, general distinctiveness had unique predictive value over commitment strength. Comparative distinctiveness from important others uniquely indicated lowered social well-being. Our findings illustrate that careful attention should be paid to the conceptualization of distinctiveness, because distinctiveness is an important but complex concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-164
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • ADOLESCENCE
  • ATTRACTION
  • Commitment
  • Distinctiveness
  • EMERGING ADULTHOOD
  • EXPLORATION
  • Identity
  • LONELINESS
  • NARCISSISTIC ADMIRATION
  • PRELIMINARY VALIDATION
  • RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION
  • SELF
  • SIMILARITY
  • Self
  • Uniqueness

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