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Emerging Adults in Sweden: Identity formation in the light of love, work and family

Journal article
Authors Ann Frisén
Maria Wängqvist
Published in Journal of Adolescent Research
Volume 26
Issue 2
Pages 200-221
ISSN 0743-5584
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 200-221
Language en
Keywords identity formation, emerging adulthood, gender differences, romantic relationships, occupational contexts
Subject categories Psychology


In this study, the identity formation of emerging adults in Sweden was investigated in order to discover how identity issues concerning love, work and family are handled. The study group comprised 136 24- to 26-year-olds.The results revealed differences between men and women with regard to their position in the identity formation process. While women were more likely to have made identity-defining decisions after a process of active exploration (identity achievement), men were less likely to explore identity issues and lacked identity-defining commitments (identity diffusion). The position in the identity formation process was related to romantic relationships and occupational contexts. The results are discussed in relation to the sociocultural context of emerging adults in Sweden.

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