Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 983–996 | Cite as

Identity Formation in Early and Middle Adolescents From Various Ethnic Groups: From Three Dimensions to Five Statuses

  • Elisabetta Crocetti
  • Monica Rubini
  • Koen Luyckx
  • Wim Meeus
Original Paper


We used three identity processes (i.e., commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration of commitment) from a recently developed model of identity formation to derive empirically identity statuses in a sample of 1952 early and middle adolescents. By means of cluster analysis, we identified five statuses: achievement, foreclosure, moratorium, searching moratorium, and diffusion. Specifically, we found an intra-status differentiation within moratorium, unraveling the positive and negative facets of this status documented in prior literature. The five clusters could be meaningfully distinguished on a number of variables, such as personality features, psychosocial problems, and parental relationships. These findings indicated that a valid distinction in identity statuses could be made in early and middle adolescence. Finally, age and ethnic background strongly affected the distribution of the participants among the five identity statuses. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Identity statuses Moratorium Searching moratorium Ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabetta Crocetti
    • 1
  • Monica Rubini
    • 2
  • Koen Luyckx
    • 3
  • Wim Meeus
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Educational SciencesUniversity of MacerataMacerataItaly
  2. 2.Department of Educational SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyK.U. LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Research Centre of Adolescent DevelopmentUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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