On the progression and stability of adolescent identity formation

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

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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 languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1565-1581
Number of pages17
JournalChild Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2010 The Authors. Child Development © 2010 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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