In this study, the relational narratives of 10 adolescents were examined with the objective to investigate how qualities of connection with others are related to identity formation in adolescence. Participants were selected to represent a clear preference in a being alone situation to either engage in a dialog with the self or to focus on doing. The adolescent's experience of relationships was examined based on The Space Between Us model (Josselson, 1992). Two distinct patterns of relational dimensions were identified, patterns that are linked with the preference in a being alone situation and that are associated with different modes of identity formation. One pattern was mostly Mutuality-based, whereas the other was multidimensional, with a combination of relational dimensions (Holding-Attachment, Eye-to-Eye Validation, and Identification) at its core. The various meanings of the most dominant relational dimensions are exemplified and discussed, and shed light on the interplay between relatedness and identity formation as it is represented in the narratives of adolescents.
- Adolescent identity formation
- Narrative approach
- Relational dimensions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science