Authors: Christl, Taylor L. A.
Title: Effective identity work, gender, body experience, and their impact on the mental health of adolescents in Switzerland and Germany
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: In a short longitudinal study with 1102 male and female adolescents from Southern Germany and German-speaking Switzerland, a quantitative operationalisation of elements from Keupp et al.'s (2002) theory on identity construction was developed and evaluated with the goal of creating a measure of identity formation that accounts for some of the challenges to identity associated with the postmodern era. The Effective Identity Work Inventory (EIWI) aims to assess individuals' experiences of themselves in their social environments in their day-to-day identity work, focusing specifically on life coherence, authenticity, self-acceptance, acceptance and recognition from others, integration of discrepant expectations, and agency. Factor analyses produced a four-factor solution (Life Coherence, Authenticity, Acceptance, Integration). Using the factor scores in cluster analysis, three unique patterns of effective identity work were identified. Discriminant analysis showed that, in particular, the factors Authenticity and Integration were most important for distinguishing between the three groups. Consequently, the three patterns of effective identity work were named: Low Authenticity - Moderate Integration, High Authenticity - Low Integration, and High Authenticity - High Integration. Both the individual aspects of effective identity work and the three patterns were examined more closely with respect to gender, positive body experience and mental health. Findings suggest that the aspects of effective identity work have a positive predictive relationship with positive body image and a negative predictive relationship with mental health problems. Results on gender suggest that girls experience more authenticity than boys, that boys show slightly more positive body image than girls, and that in general girls and boys experience mental health issues to a similar degree, though emotional problems are more prevalent in girls and conduct problems more prevalent in boys. Suggestions for revisions to the EIWI are made and implications for its use in identity research are discussed.
Subject Headings: Identität
Psychische Gesundheit
Subject Headings (RSWK): Identität
Psychische Gesundheit
Issue Date: 2016
Appears in Collections:Soziale und Emotionale Entwicklung in Rehabilitation und Pädagogik

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