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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses how a better understanding of identity formation can be achieved by integrating person- and variable-centered approaches, particularly how the person-centered approach might be more suitable for capturing identity development. To support this thesis, exemplars are drawn from the identity literature rooted in Erikson’s psychosocial theory, in Marcia’s identity status paradigm, and in its recent extensions . In the person-centered approach, the starting point is groups of people, defined by the fact that individuals share similar characteristics with members of their group and differ from members of other groups. Thus, the first step for adopting a person-centered approach is the classification of respondents into groups, each of which corresponds to one identity status. The chapter discusses shortcomings and strengths of various methods used to classify individuals into identity statuses and also highlights future lines of research.

Keywords: Identity statuses, person-centered approach, variable-centered approach, classification, methodology, developmental trajectories, longitudinal

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