Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Identity and intimacy during adolescence: Connections among identity styles, romantic attachment and identity commitment

an article by Jennifer L. Kerpelman, Joe F. Pittman, Hans Saint-Eloi Cadely, Felicia J. Tuggle, Marinda K. Harrell-Levy and Francesca M. Adler-Baeder (Auburn University, USA) published in Journal of Adolescence Volume 35 Issue 6 (December 2012)


Integration of adult attachment and psychosocial development theories suggests that adolescence is a time when capacities for romantic intimacy and identity formation are co-evolving.

The current study addressed direct, indirect and moderated associations among identity and romantic attachment constructs with a diverse sample of 2,178 middle adolescents. Identity styles were found to have unique and direct associations with identity commitment. Attachment anxiety showed only indirect associations and attachment avoidance had both direct and indirect associations with identity commitment.

Tests of moderation revealed that gender, race and relationship status had no influence on the direct associations of identity styles or romantic attachment with identity commitment. Few differences in association strength among identity styles and romantic attachment emerged for gender or race.

However, the differences found for relationship status suggested that relationship experiences adolescents bring to their exploration of identity and intimacy matter for how these two areas of development articulate.

Figures and tables from this article

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