Affiliations: Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands | Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania
Note:  Address for correspondence: Elisabetta Crocetti, Research Centre on Adolescent Development, Utrecht University, The Netherlands and Martinus J. Langeveldgebouw, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584CS Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 30 253 4039; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: The purpose of this two-wave longitudinal study was to analyze reciprocal associations between identity styles (i.e., socio-cognitive strategies that individuals adopt in processing, structuring, utilizing, and revising self-relevant information) and civic engagement in adolescence. Participants were 1,308 high school students (9–11 grades; 52.9% girls). Findings of cross-lagged models indicated reciprocal associations between identity styles and civic engagement. Specifically, each identity style (i.e., information-oriented, normative, and diffuse-avoidant) predicted changes in later levels of civic engagement, and civic engagement lessened later reliance on one of three identity styles (i.e., the diffuse-avoidant style). Therefore, effects of identity on civic engagement were stronger than effects of civic engagement on identity. From a practical perspective, these findings underline that interventions aimed at facilitating reliance on various identity styles are likely to have effects also on civic participation and civic experiences are likely to reduce adolescents' avoidance of identity issues.