Accommodating a new identity: Possible selves, identity change and well-being across two life-transitions
Article first published online: 6 AUG 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 40, Issue 6, pages 970–984, October 2010
How to Cite
Manzi, C., Vignoles, V. L. and Regalia, C. (2010), Accommodating a new identity: Possible selves, identity change and well-being across two life-transitions. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40: 970–984. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.669
- Issue published online: 15 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 6 AUG 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Received: 15 FEB 2007
We examined the role of desired, feared, and expected possible future identity structures in the restructuring of identity after two life transitions. A longitudinal study was conducted on 86 young adults during the transition from school to university and 143 adults during the transition to parenthood. In both samples, pre-transition desires and expectations about the restructuring of identity predicted post-transition actual identity structures. Post-transition emotional well-being was higher among those whose post-transition identity structures more closely matched their initial desires and less closely matched their initial fears, and among those who reported a greater magnitude of identity change. We propose that possible future identity structures play an important role in the identity accommodation process during life-transitions, and that they have significant implications for well-being. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.