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01-01-2015 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 1/2015

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2015

Testing New Identity Models and Processes in French-speaking Adolescents and Emerging Adults Students

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 1/2015
Auteurs:
Grégoire Zimmermann, Lyda Lannegrand-Willems, Claire Safont-Mottay, Christine Cannard

Abstract

Developing a sense of identity is a crucial psychosocial task for young people. The purpose of this study was to evaluate identity development in French-speaking adolescents and emerging adults (in France and Switzerland) using a process-oriented model of identity formation including five dimensions (i.e., exploration in breadth, commitment making, exploration in depth, identification with commitment, and ruminative exploration). The study included participants from three different samples (total N = 2,239, 66.7 % women): two samples of emerging adult student and one sample of adolescents. Results confirmed the hypothesized five-factor dimensional model of identity in our three samples and provided evidence for convergent validity of the model. The results also indicated that exploration in depth might be subdivided in two aspects: a first form of exploration in depth leading to a better understanding and to an increase of the strength of current commitments and a second form of exploration in depth leading to a re-evaluation and a reconsideration of current commitments. Further, the identity status cluster solution that emerged is globally in line with previous literature (i.e., achievement, foreclosure, moratorium, carefree diffusion, diffused diffusion, undifferentiated). However, despite a structural similarity, we found variations in identity profiles because identity development is shaped by cultural context. These specific variations are discussed in light of social, educational and economic differences between France and the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Implications and suggestions for future research are offered.

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