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Identity Development and Romantic Relationships in the Late Twenties

Journal article
Authors Maria Wängqvist
Johanna Carlsson
Maria van der Lee
Ann Frisén
Published in Identity. An International Journal of Theory and Research
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 24-44
ISSN 1528-3488
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 24-44
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


This two-wave study investigates identity processes and content in identity interviews concerning romantic relationships, and how this is related to involvement in romantic relationships in the late twenties. Results revealed that the four identity statuses were equally common at age 25 (N = 136) as they were at age 29 (N = 124). Although 54% were stable in identity status, 46% changed identity status between measurements. Stability in identity status was a typical pattern for all identity statuses, except moratorium. Overall, the content in individuals’ identity narratives seemed to express a strong norm concerning attitudes and expectations of romantic relationships. The few associations between identity status and identity content indicated a somewhat stronger adherence to norms in the foreclosure group and a somewhat lesser adherence to norms in the diffusion group. Involvement in a romantic relationship was more common among individuals who, at age 29, had established commitments and who viewed involvement in romantic relationships as an important life goal. The study illustrates how considering identity processes and content may lead to a deepened understanding of identity development within salient domains.

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

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