Identity-in-context is not yet identity development-in-context

Harke A. Bosma, E. Saskia Kunnen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In this discussion, we summarize the main aspects of the research presented in the papers and discuss what we see as their strong points. To analyze recent developments in identity research, we compared the present issue with the special issue of the Journal of Adolescence in 1996 on 'Identity Development in Context'. In that issue it was concluded that further research is necessary to "detail the ways in which contextual variables may interact both with one another as well as with individual personality variables to determine the course of the identity formation process".

In the papers in this issue, the influence of the context has received much more attention than 20 years ago. However, they still have serious limitations with regard to the study of the developmental process. Not more than one study uses a longitudinal design. To stimulate research into developmental processes we conclude with a plea for longitudinal studies over long periods, with enough measurement points to distinguish between different patterns, and. for more conceptual attention for what identity development is about. (C) 2008 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2008
Event10th Biennial Meeting of the European-Association-for-Research-on-Adolescence - , Turkey
Duration: 2-May-20066-May-2006



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