Identity in Emerging Adulthood: Reviewing the Field and Looking Forward

Seth J. Schwartz, Byron L. Zamboanga, Koen Luyckx, Alan Meca, Rachel A. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


The present article presents a review of identity status-based theory and research with adolescents and emerging adults, with some coverage of related approaches such as narrative identity and identity style. In the first section, we review Erikson's theory of identity and early identity status research examining differences in personality and cognitive variables across statuses. We then review two contemporary identity models that extend identity status theory and explicitly frame identity development as a dynamic and iterative process. We also review work that has focused on specific domains of identity. The second section of the article discusses mental and physical health correlates of identity processes and statuses. The article concludes with recommendations for future identity research with adolescent and emerging adult populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-113
Number of pages18
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • adolescence
  • commitment
  • emerging adulthood
  • exploration
  • identity
  • statuses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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