Self-concept and questions of life: Identity development during late adolescence

Lena Adamson, Björn Lyxell*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of the present study was to explore identity development in late adolescent (18-20) years. Three areas were examined: (a) self-concept, (b) existential questions; content and communication patterns, and (c), connections between (a) and (b). The population consisted of 44 Swedish college students. Three methods were used: a questionnaire, the writing of a short essay and a self-evaluation test, Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). The results demonstrated a positive and stable self-concept for the majority of the group, and that questions of life mainly concerned questions of future. The quality of the self-concept (positive vs. negative) was significantly related to how subjects experienced adults' interest in their existential questions. Several issues are discussed: the importance of the social environment for identity development not only during early childhood but also during adolescence, the use of the SASB method in this age group and the need for placing processes of integration into focus in research concerning late adolescence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-582
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Adolescence
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


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