Processes of Personal Identity Formation and Evaluation

  • Koen Luyckx
  • Seth J. Schwartz
  • Luc Goossens
  • Wim Beyers
  • Lies Missotten


In the present chapter, we propose a process-oriented model suited to map personal identity development across different phases of the lifespan and in different domains of identity. Primarily inspired by Marcia’s (1966) identity status paradigm, this model unpacks the dimensions of exploration and commitment into five distinctive but interrelated identity dimensions: three forms of exploration (ruminative, in-breadth, and in-depth) and two forms of commitment (commitment making and identification). In doing so, the model focuses on both the development and the evaluation of one’s personal identity and enables researchers to distinguish between more and less adaptive identity strategies. Special attention is paid to developmental issues, antecedents, and concomitants of this identity model and to how the different dimensions of the model—and the statuses derived based on this model—are related to psychosocial (self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and anxiety) and health (illness adaptation, coping) outcomes in non-clinical and clinical populations. Suggestions for individually and contextually based intervention strategies are provided.


Identity Development Psychological Control Autonomy Support Identity Dimension Environmental Mastery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koen Luyckx
    • 1
  • Seth J. Schwartz
    • 2
  • Luc Goossens
    • 1
  • Wim Beyers
    • 3
  • Lies Missotten
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthLeonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of MiamiMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Developmental, Personality and Social PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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