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Personality, Identity Styles, and Religiosity: An Integrative Study Among Late Adolescents in Flanders (Belgium)


concerning this article should be sent to Bart Duriez, Department of Psychology, K.U. Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium. Tel.: +32(0)16/32.59.62. Fax: +32(0)16/32.60.00. The contribution of the second and third author was supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO).


Abstract The relationship between the two main dimensions of the religiosity domain (Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence and Literal vs. Symbolic) and both the Five-Factor Model of personality and Berzonsky's (1990) identity styles was investigated in a Flemish sample of late adolescents (N=335). The results show that, whereas Exclusion vs. Inclusion is unrelated to any of the personality dimensions, Literal vs. Symbolic was strongly related to Openness to Experience and moderately to Agreeableness. Further, it was shown that Exclusion vs. Inclusion was positively related to the normative identity style, and that Literal vs. Symbolic correlated positively with the informational identity style and negatively with the diffuse/avoidant identity style. As expected, the relation between Openness to Experience and Literal vs. Symbolic was fully mediated by the informational identity style. Once Openness to Experience was taken into account, Agreeableness was no longer an important determinant of Literal vs. Symbolic.