Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 732–748 | Cite as

Correlates of Identity Configurations: Three Studies with Adolescent and Emerging Adult Cohorts

  • Elisabetta Crocetti
  • Marta Scrignaro
  • Luigia Simona Sica
  • Maria Elena Magrin
Empirical Research


Adolescence and emerging adulthood are two core developmental periods in which individuals can develop a meaningful identity across domains. However, there is a lack of studies exploring correlates of different identity configurations. The purpose of this article was to fill this gap in examining correlates of configurations characterized by identity stability or instability in both ideological and relational domains or identity stability in one domain and instability in the other domain. Three studies were presented. In the first study, we investigated links between identity configurations and internalizing problem behaviors in early and middle adolescents (N = 1,891; M age = 14; 55% female); in the second study, we focused on associations between identity configurations and identity functions in late adolescents and early emerging adults (N = 1,085; M age = 19; 63% female); in the third study, we investigated relationships between identity configurations, sense of coherence, and basic psychological need satisfaction in emerging adults (N = 489; M age = 21; 71% female). Overall, findings highlighted that participants experiencing a condition of identity stability in both domains reported a better profile than their peers displaying a condition of instability in both realms. Further, individuals with identity stability only in one domain reported intermediate scores and the effect provided by each domain varied according to the correlate examined and the age group taken into account. Implications of these findings are discussed.


Identity Anxiety Depression Identity functions Sense of coherence Basic need 



We greatly thank Alessandra Fermani for her help in data collection of Study 1.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabetta Crocetti
    • 1
  • Marta Scrignaro
    • 1
  • Luigia Simona Sica
    • 2
  • Maria Elena Magrin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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