The first and the second author are postdoctoral researchers at the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO).
Personal Identity in College and the Work Context: Developmental Trajectories and Psychosocial Functioning
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Volume 27, Issue 3, pages 222–237, May/June 2013
How to Cite
Luyckx, K., Klimstra, T. A., Schwartz, S. J. and Duriez, B. (2013), Personal Identity in College and the Work Context: Developmental Trajectories and Psychosocial Functioning. Eur. J. Pers., 27: 222–237. doi: 10.1002/per.1903
- Issue published online: 21 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 23 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 13 APR 2012
Personal identity formation represents a core developmental challenge for adolescents and young adults. Because much of the identity literature focuses on college students, it is necessary to conduct a detailed inquiry into the ways in which specific commitment and exploration processes develop over time for college students and for employed individuals. Two samples (456 college students and 318 employed individuals) were used to identify identity status trajectories over time and to examine external correlates of these trajectories (i.e. depressive symptoms, self-esteem, identity centrality, community integration, and sense of adulthood). Similar identity trajectories emerged in both college students and employed individuals. Four of these trajectories corresponded to Marcia's identity statuses. In addition, apart from the ‘classical’ or troubled diffusion trajectory, a carefree diffusion trajectory was also obtained. Whereas individuals on an identity-achieved pathway fared best in terms of the outcome measures, individuals in the troubled diffusion trajectory fared worst in terms of self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and community integration over time. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.