Identity and perceived peer relationship quality in emerging adulthood: The mediating role of attachment-related emotions
Identity formation and the perceived quality of one’s peer relationships are theorized to be intimately linked in emerging adulthood. The present study examined the associations between identity styles (i.e., information-oriented, normative, and diffuse-avoidant styles) and the quality of relationships with peers (as indexed by friendship quality and loneliness) in a sample of 343 college students from Belgium. High scores for the information-oriented style were positively related to friendship quality, whereas high scores for the diffuse-avoidant identity style were positively related to loneliness. These direct associations were mediated, at least in part, by attachment-related emotions (i.e., avoidance and anxiety). These associations, both direct and indirect, provide the first evidence linking identity styles and the quality of peer relationships. Suggestions for future research are provided, both at the methodological and the conceptual level.
Doumen, S., Smits, I., Luyckx, K., Duriez, B., Vanhalst, J., Verschueren, K., & Goossens, L. (2012). Identity and perceived peer relationship quality in emerging adulthood: The mediating role of attachment-related emotions. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1417-1425.