This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Identity Style in Adolescence: Developmental Precursors and Links with Social Capital Breadth and Depth in Emerging Adulthood




Chan, Alexander E.

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Significant gaps remain in the understanding of both the developmental antecedents of identity styles (inputs) and the interpersonal sequalae that flow from these styles (outputs). Of interest in the current study was whether personality and family environment assessed in early adolescence uniquely predict use of different identity styles. A second goal of the study was to examine whether identity styles uniquely predict qualities of interpersonal relationships with parents, romantic partners, and friends in early adulthood. Data were drawn from the prospective longitudinal Child Development Project (N = 585). Results showed that the normative style was predicted by an additive combination of high warmth and low autonomy restriction, as well as Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and low Openness. Diffuse style was predicted by low conscientiousness. Informational style was associated with lower autonomy restriction. With respect to interpersonal relationship outcomes, both informational and normative styles were associated with higher quality relationships with parents and, for normatively oriented individuals, higher quality romantic relationships. Diffuse style predicted fewer and poorer quality relationships in all domains. Possible explanations for divergent findings are presented along with integration of convergent findings into the existing literature.