Employment, sense of coherence, and identity formation: Contextual and psychological processes on the pathway to sense of adulthood

Koen Luyckx, Seth J. Schwartz, Luc Goossens, Sophie Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study investigated the influence of contextual (i.e., being in college vs. being employed) and psychological (i.e., sense of coherence) processes on achieving a sense of adulthood in a sample of 317 emerging adults. Identity formation, conceptualized as multiple dimensions of exploration and of commitment, was conceived of as a mediator of these relationships. Individuals who perceive themselves as adults scored higher on commitment and lower on ruminative exploration than those who do not perceive themselves as full-fledged adults. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that the relationships of sense of coherence and attending college versus being employed to sense of adulthood were partially mediated by identity formation-and by the dimension of commitment making in particular. Being employed and scoring high on sense of coherence are directly and indirectly (through making stronger identity commitments) related to a greater sense of adulthood. Implications and suggestions for future research are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-591
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

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Keywords

  • Emerging adulthood
  • Employment
  • Identity formation
  • Mediation
  • Sense of adulthood
  • Sense of coherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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