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Keywords:

  • Big Five;
  • identity;
  • commitment;
  • exploration;
  • longitudinal

Abstract

The present study examined whether identity development occurs in tandem with personality development in emerging adulthood. Three-wave longitudinal data on a sample of 351 female college students were used to answer questions about stability and change, direction of effects, and interrelated developmental trajectories. Four identity dimensions (i.e. commitment making, exploration in breadth, identification with commitment, and exploration in depth) and the Big Five were assessed. Identity and personality were found to be meaningfully related at the level of both the time-specific adjacent measures and the underlying developmental trajectories with various degrees of convergence. Cross-lagged analyses substantiated reciprocal influences and Latent Growth Curve Modelling substantiated common developmental pathways that partially mirrored the concurrent relations. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.