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ERIC Number: EJ952984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Young Adult Identities and Their Pathways: A Developmental and Life Course Model
Benson, Janel E.; Elder, Glen H., Jr.
Developmental Psychology, v47 n6 p1646-1657 Nov 2011
Developmental and life course studies of young adult identities have focused on 2 dimensions: subjective age and psychosocial maturity. This study examines the developmental synchrony of these 2 processes. In a longitudinal sample of young adults from Add Health (ages 18-22), a person-centered analysis of indicators of these dimensions identified 4 identity profiles. Two depict early and late patterns of identity; the others represent contrasting types of discordance: "pseudo-adult", with subjective age more advanced than maturation level, and "anticipatory", with subjective age less advanced than maturational level. The profiles vary by gender, socioeconomic status, and race-ethnicity, as well as by adolescent (ages 12-16) pubertal maturation, psychosocial adjustment, and family context. These results provide support for a more holistic, interdisciplinary understanding of adult identity and show that young adult identities in the Add Health sample follow differentiated paths into the adult years, with largely unknown consequences for the subsequent life course. (Contains 3 tables, 2 figures and 8 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States