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Life on hold: Staying in identity diffusion in the late twenties

Journal article
Authors Johanna Carlsson
Maria Wängqvist
Ann Frisén
Published in Journal of Adolescence
Volume 47
Pages 220-229
ISSN 0140-1971
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 220-229
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


This study adds to the understanding of the dark side of identity development by investigating what it means to experience long-term identity diffusion during the late twenties. In a study of change and stability in identity status between ages 25 and 29 (N ¼ 124; 63 women), seven participants were assigned to identity diffusion at both ages. Longitudinal analysis of interviews with these participants showed that long-term experiences of identity diffusion may be described through individuals' approach to changing life conditions, the extent to which they engage in meaning making, and how they develop their personal life direction. In questionnaires, participants reported few signs of psychological distress. Even so, qualitative analyses showed a general trend among participants to keep life on hold through decreased activity or increased haphazard activity in relation to changing life conditions, to make little new meaning, and in some cases to dissolve their personal life direction.

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

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