Identity styles and interpersonal behavior in emerging adulthood: The intervening role of empathy
This study examined the intervening role of empathy in the relations between identity styles (i.e., information-oriented, normative, and diffuse-avoidant styles), and interpersonal behaviors (i.e., prosocial behavior, self- and other-oriented helping, and physical and relational aggression). In a sample of 341 emerging adults, it was found that an information-oriented style relates to a more adaptive pattern of interpersonal behaviors whereas a normative or a diffuse-avoidant identity style relate to a more maladaptive pattern of interpersonal behaviors. Empathy played an intervening role between the information-oriented style and interpersonal behavior, and between the diffuse-avoidant style and interpersonal behavior. However, empathy did not intervene between the normative style and interpersonal behavior. Implications for future research are discussed.
Smits, I., Doumen, S., Luyckx, K., Duriez, B., & Goossens, L. (2011). Identity styles and interpersonal behavior in emerging adulthood: The intervening role of empathy. Social Development, 20, 664-684.