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Swedish 18-year-olds’ identity formation: Associations with feelings about appearance and internalization of body ideals

Journal article
Authors Maria Wängqvist
Ann Frisén
Published in Journal of Adolescence
Volume 36
Pages 485-493
ISSN 0140-1971
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 485-493
Language en
Keywords Identity formation, Exploration, Commitment, Body image, Body-esteem, Body ideal internalization
Subject categories Psychology


The aim of this study with Swedish 18-year-olds (N = 714, 55.2% women) was to investigate identity formation in relation to body-esteem and body ideal internalization. These are all important aspects of adolescents’ development, but little is known about how they are related. This study indicates that late adolescents’ identity formation, body-esteem, and body ideal internalizations are related. Women’s interpersonal identity commitments and explorations were related to more positive thoughts about how others evaluate their appearance. Their interpersonal identity explorations were also related to more internalization of societal body ideals. For men, stronger interpersonal identity commitments were related to more positive own evaluations about their appearance. The results also showed that compared to men, women explored identity issues more, had poorer body-esteem, and had internalized body ideals more.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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