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 journalArticle

181 Scopus citations

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 (US)
Pages (from-to)1565-1581
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume81
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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