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Journal Article


Negru-Subtirica O, Pop EI, Crocetti E. Dev. Psychol. 2017; 53(11): 2127-2138.


Department of Psychology, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna.


(Copyright © 2017, American Psychological Association)






Identity formation is a main adolescent psychosocial developmental task. The complex interconnection between different processes that are at the basis of one's identity is a research and applied intervention priority. In this context, the identity style model focuses on social-cognitive strategies (i.e., informational, normative, and diffuse-avoidant) that individuals can use to deal with identity formation. The 3-factor identity dimensional model examines the interplay between identity processes of commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration of commitment in different life domains. Theoretical integrations between these models have been proposed, but there is a dearth of studies unraveling their longitudinal links in specific identity domains. We addressed this gap by testing in a 3-wave longitudinal study the bidirectional associations between identity styles and educational identity processes measured during 1 academic year. Participants were 1,151 adolescents (58.7% female).

RESULTS highlighted that the informational style was related over time to higher levels of educational commitment and in-depth exploration, whereas the diffuse-avoidant style was related to lower levels of commitment and higher levels of reconsideration of commitment. Educational commitment was positively related to the informational and normative styles; in-depth exploration was positively related to the informational style; and reconsideration of commitment was positively related to the diffuse-avoidant style. These relations were not moderated by adolescents' gender and age. Hence, identity styles and educational identity processes reinforce each other during 1 academic year. Theoretical integrations between these models, suggestions for integration with other identity approaches (e.g., narrative identity models), and practical implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

(c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

Language: en


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