Identity formation in adulthood in the domains of family and work
We explore the formation of identity in adulthood in the domains of work, intimate relationships, and parenting. As part of the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development, a semi-structured identity interview was conducted at the ages of 27, 36, 42 and 50 (N = 221–291). We determined the identity status of the subjects (diffuse, moratorium, foreclosure or achieved) for each of the three domains, and examined whether the identity status was related to the concurrent life situation. In young men at age 27, occupational identity moratorium was more typical for those without full-time employment. In women of the same age, intimate relationship identity moratorium was associated with a lack of a stable relationship. In 36-year-old men, childlessness was associated with a parental identity diffusion or moratorium. Later, the links emerged between life situation and identity diffusion: men without full-time work at 42 and women at 50 were more often diffuse in occupational identity; men and women without a stable relationship at age 50 were more often diffuse in intimate relationship identity; and childless women at age 42 were more often diffuse in parental identity.