On the interplay between academic achievement and educational identity: A longitudinal study

Eleonora Ioana Pop, Oana Negru-Subtirica, Elisabetta Crocetti, Adrian Opre, W.H.J. Meeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The present three-wave longitudinal study provides empirical evidence for the mechanisms of the bright and dark sides of identity development in the academic context. First, we investigated the patterns of stability and change in educational identity and academic achievement among adolescents. Second, we examined the reciprocal associations between identity processes (i.e., commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration of commitment) and academic achievement. The main results of the study highlighted that academic achievement predicts the manner in which adolescents deal with their identity issues in the academic context. Thus, high academic achievement leads to high levels of commitment (identity synthesis), while low academic achievement leads to high levels of reconsideration of commitment (identity confusion). This unidirectional pattern of effects applied equally to adolescent boys and girls, early-to-middle and middle-to-late adolescents, and to adolescents attending theoretical and vocational schools. Practical implications are discussed.
Keywords; Academic achievement, Educational identity, Adolescence, Longitudinal study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Academic achievement
  • Educational identity
  • Adolescence
  • Longitudinal study

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