Identity Development

This study explored whether youths’ level of identity exploration and commitment to identity would moderate the relationship between peer pressure and control and risk behaviours. Identity commitment was a buffer against substance use and identity exploration was a buffer against deviant behaviours. Increased identity exploration and commitment can lead to increased autonomy and sense of responsibility. These factors promote personal independence and decrease the influence of external pressuring forces when making decisions.

Authors: Tara M. Dumas, Wendy E. Ellis, and David A. Wolfe (2012)

Keywords: Identity development; Identity exploration; Risk behaviour; Peer groups; Peer pressure

Summary by: Lyndsay Masters