Current Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 205–215 | Cite as

Age-Related Differences in Identity Style: A Cross-Sectional Analysis



The Identity Style Inventory–Revised for a Sixth-Grade Reading Level (ISI-6G) was administered to samples of community college students (N = 99) and middle school and high school students (N = 320). Tests of between-groups differences indicated that the college sample had a significantly lower mean diffuse-avoidant score on the ISI-6G than the middle and high school sample. In terms of actual assignment to identity styles, college students were significantly more likely to be classified as informational or normative, while the younger students were more likely to be diffuse-avoidant. The mean ages of participants for each of the three identity styles were compared, and it was found that diffuse-avoidant participants had the lowest mean age (15.54 years), while individuals with an informational orientation had the highest mean age (17.20 years). Results suggest that, in general, identity style evolves with age and maturity and the general trajectory or progression involves movement away from a diffuse-avoidant orientation. Findings are discussed in terms of current knowledge of neurocognitive development during adolescence and early adulthood.


Identity Identity style Brain development Executive function Prefrontal cortex Cross-sectional 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family and Consumer SciencesJacksonville State UniversityJacksonvilleUSA

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