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16-02-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2018

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2018

How is Civic Engagement Related to Personal Identity and Social Identity in Late Adolescents and Emerging Adults? A Person-Oriented Approach

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2018
Lyda Lannegrand-Willems, Basilie Chevrier, Cyrille Perchec, Alexia Carrizales


Adolescence and emerging adulthood are periods in life when individuals both question and define their place in society and form their identity. Meanwhile, active youth civic engagement represents a challenge for each democracy. The purpose of this study was to analyze the different forms of civic engagement among late adolescents and emerging adults and how they are related to personal identity and social identity, while adopting an integrative perspective through the lens of a person-oriented approach. The participants were 1217 (62.3% female) 16–24 year-old French students (M age  = 19.17; SD age  = 1.83). First, derived from cluster analyses, the findings emphasized diversity in civic engagement, from strong civic participation (in different formal and informal ways) to various forms of passivity. Diversity was also highlighted for personal identity and social identity profiles. Second, a Configural Frequency Analysis revealed a typical pattern associating passivity in civic engagement, personal carefree diffusion and rejection of social identity. Overall, these findings highlight an absence of general youth disaffection and provide a meaningful specific pattern for the understanding of passivity in political and civic matters in late adolescence and emerging adulthood.

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