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27-12-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 2/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2/2020

Do Identity Processes and Psychosocial Problems Intertwine with Each Other? Testing the Directionality of Between- and Within-Person Associations

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 2/2020
Auteurs:
Kai Hatano, Kazumi Sugimura, Koen Luyckx
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Abstract

As forming and evaluating commitments are stressful processes, adolescents who worry about their identity may exhibit psychosocial problems. However, there is a lack of prospective research regarding the direction of associations between the processes of identity and psychosocial problems in the future domain. This study examined the direction of relationships between future-oriented identity processes and psychosocial problems based on a five-dimensional identity process model. A total of 347 Japanese 14-year-old adolescents (53.3% female) participated in a three-wave longitudinal study with a one-year-interval assessment. Standard cross-lagged models indicated that pro-active identity exploration was negatively predicted by conduct problems, and ruminative exploration was positively predicted by depressive symptoms. Within-person cross-lagged models indicated that ruminative exploration positively predicted both depressive symptoms and conduct problems at the within-person level. These findings reveal how identity processes and psychosocial problems are interwoven during adolescence.

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