Four statuses of adulthood: adult roles, psychosocial maturity and identity formation in emerging adulthood
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Online publication date: 2014-02-04
Health Psychology Report 2013;1(1):52–62
The main aim of the study was to identify differences pertaining to sense of adulthood, exploration, and commitment dimensions between groups of subjects differing in respect of the number of fulfilled adulthood roles and the level of psychosocial maturity.

Participants and procedure
Participants were 358 individuals aged 18 to 30. Four groups of individuals with different adulthood statuses were designated: (1) immature non-adults (low psychosocial maturity, a small number of adult roles), (2) immature adults (low psychosocial maturity, a large number of adult roles), (3) mature non-adults (high psychosocial maturity, a small number of adult roles), (4) mature adults (high psychosocial maturity, a large number of adult roles).

In the two groups characterized by a high level of psychosocial maturity, sense of adulthood proved to be higher than in the other two groups. Immature adults manifested more visible signs of identity crisis than mature adults, and the pattern of the results in the former group was similar to that observed in the group of immature non-adults and mature non-adults.

The studies offer an insight into the relationship between identity of individuals entering adulthood, and social and personal determinants of its formation. The simultaneous analysis of selected psychological and contextual conditionings of identity formation enabled us to obtain valuable results that allow us to formulate the conclusion that both of the spheres mentioned above are important for identity development, and that the most favorable option for identity formation in different areas of young adults’ functioning is the joint development of both psychosocial maturity and adult roles.
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