Document Detail

Commitment and exploration as mechanisms of identity formation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12090506     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We report a two-wave longitudinal study of 1,571 Dutch adolescents concerning the role of commitment and exploration in identity development. We used the Utrecht-Groningen Identity Development Scale to measure commitment and exploration in the domains of relational and societal identity. Our results can be summarized in three points. (1) Commitment and exploration are related processes in the development of identity. Adolescents with strong commitments also frequently explore them, and adolescents with low exploration in general have weak commitments. (2) The longitudinal stability of commitment and exploration has a medium effect size. For relational identity the stability of commitment is greater than that of exploration, but this is not the case for societal identity. The explanation we give for the lack of this difference in stability between commitment and exploration in societal identity is that the formative period for societal identity comes primarily at the end of adolescence. In that connection, we conclude that for present-day Dutch adolescents the formation of relational identity probably precedes that of societal identity. (3) In neither identity domain is commitment predictive of exploration three years later, nor is the reverse the case. We conclude that no long-term developmental sequentiality of commitment and exploration was found, but the results do not rule out the possibility of short-term developmental sequentiality.
W Meeus; J Iedema; G H Maassen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological reports     Volume:  90     ISSN:  0033-2941     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Rep     Publication Date:  2002 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-01     Completed Date:  2002-08-01     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376475     Medline TA:  Psychol Rep     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  771-85     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Child and Adolescent Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Follow-Up Studies
Interpersonal Relations*
Social Identification*

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