Micro-level processes of identity development: Intra-individual relations between commitment and exploration

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We investigate intra-individual processes of identity at the micro level. With an intensive longitudinal design in the general context of higher education, we explore associations between changes in pivotal identity concepts: commitment and exploration and elaborate on how we conceptualize these concepts on a micro level. With our within-individual empirical approach, we revealed a large amount of variation between individuals with respect to the associations between exploration and commitment processes. At the same time, similarities were found amongst individuals, which help extend and clarify existing findings regarding identity development. Our findings highlight the necessity to, firstly, distinguish between micro- and macro-level identity processes. Secondly, and in the same vein, our findings emphasize the heterogeneous nature of micro-level identity processes, and the necessity to use a within individual approach to study these processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2016

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