Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 717–730 | Cite as

Longitudinal Links Between Identity Consolidation and Psychosocial Problems in Adolescence: Using Bi-Factor Latent Change and Cross-Lagged Effect Models

Empirical Research


Most previous identity research has focused on relationships between identity synthesis, confusion, and psychosocial problems. However, these studies did not take into account Erikson’s notion of identity consolidation, that is, the dynamic interplay between identity synthesis and confusion. This study aimed to examine longitudinal relationships and the directionality of the effects between identity consolidation and psychosocial problems during adolescence, using two waves of longitudinal data from 793 Japanese adolescents (49.7% girls; ages 13–14 and 16–17 at Time 1). A bi-factor latent change model revealed that levels and changes in identity consolidation were negatively associated with levels and changes in psychosocial problems. Furthermore, a bi-factor cross-lagged effects model provided evidence that identity consolidation negatively predicted psychosocial problems, and vice versa. Our study facilitates a better understanding of the importance of identity consolidation in the relations between identity components and psychosocial problems.


Identity consolidation Identity development Adolescence Psychosocial problems 


Authors' Contributions

K.H. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and drafted the manuscript. K.S. and S.J.S. conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Data Sharing Declaration

This manuscript’s data will not be deposited. Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Development Center for Higher Education, Osaka Prefecture UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGraduate School of Education, Hiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  3. 3.Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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