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01-03-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2018 Open Access

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2018

Trajectories of Identity Formation Modes and Their Personality Context in Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2018
Auteurs:
Ewa Topolewska-Siedzik, Jan Cieciuch

Abstract

Identity formation is a dynamic process during adolescence. Trajectories of identity formation were assessed longitudinally in early and middle adolescents, taking into account the personality underpinnings of this process. Identity formation was conceptualized according to the circumplex of identity formation modes. The model distinguishes basic modes rooted in Marcia’s categories of exploration and commitment. Plasticity and stability, the two higher order Big Five meta-traits, were used to assess personality underpinnings. This study includes five measurement waves over 1.5 years and involves 1,839 Polish participants; 914 early adolescents (53.9% girls) and 925 middle adolescents (63.8% girls). The results suggest that (1) the four identity formation modes change dynamically, showing linear and curvilinear growth and that (2) identity formation mode trajectories are more dynamic in middle adolescence than in early adolescence. The results also showed that, in the conditional model, (3) the higher-order personality factors and gender affect the growth factors of identity formation modes. Overall, trajectories of identity formation modes are more linear during early adolescence and more curvilinear during middle adolescence. The initial levels in identity trajectories are influenced by the personality metatraits but only plasticity is related to change among early adolescents.

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