On the progression and stability of adolescent identity formation: A five-wave longitudinal study in early-to-middle and middle-to-late adolescence

Wim Meeus, Rens van de Schoot, Loes Keijsers, Seth J Schwartz, Susan Branje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined identity development in a 5-wave study of 923 early-to-middle and 390 middle-to-late adolescents thereby covering the ages of 12-20. Systematic evidence for identity progression was found: The number of diffusions, moratoriums, and searching moratoriums (a newly obtained status) decreased, whereas the representation of the high-commitment statuses (2 variants of a [fore]closed identity: "early closure" and "closure," and achievement) increased. We also found support for the individual difference perspective: 63% of the adolescents remained in the same identity status across the 5 waves. Identity progression was characterized by 7 transitions: diffusion→moratorium, diffusion→early closure, moratorium→closure, moratorium→achievement, searching moratorium→closure, searching moratorium→achievement, and early closure→achievement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1565-1581
JournalChild Development
Volume81
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Self Concept
  • Young Adult

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