Summary / Abstract
Title: Age differences in adolescent identity exploration and commitment in urban and rural environments
Synopsis: Sociocultural context may play an important role in identity development by shaping the opportunitiesadolescents are facing. To examine this, adolescents living in urban and rural environments were compared in terms of agedifferences in identity exploration and commitment. Younger (13–14-year-olds) and older (16–17-year-olds) males andfemales from urban and rural areas in both Australia (
=367) and Finland (
=316) were investigated.The participants completed the Exploration and Commitment Questionnaire which includes items concerning future education,occupation and family. The results showed that the older youths living in Australian urban environments showed higher levels ofexploration and commitment concerning both their future education and occupation than the younger ones, whereas there was anage-related decrease in these variables among adolescents living in Australian rural areas. No urban
. rural differenceswere found for Finnish adolescents.
Title: Age differences in adolescent identity exploration and commitment in urban and rural environments
Synopsis: Sociocultural context may play an important role in identity development by shaping the opportunitiesadolescents are facing. To examine this, adolescents living in urban and rural environments were compared in terms of agedifferences in identity exploration and commitment. Younger (13–14-year-olds) and older (16–17-year-olds) males andfemales from urban and rural areas in both Australia ( n =367) and Finland ( n =316) were investigated.The participants completed the Exploration and Commitment Questionnaire which includes items concerning future education,occupation and family. The results showed that the older youths living in Australian urban environments showed higher levels ofexploration and commitment concerning both their future education and occupation than the younger ones, whereas there was anage-related decrease in these variables among adolescents living in Australian rural areas. No urban vs . rural differenceswere found for Finnish adolescents.
Related links for: Age differences in adolescent identity exploration and commitment in urban and rural environments
Additional keywords for: Age differences in adolescent identity exploration and commitment in urban and rural environments
journal adolescence 1996 19 443 452 age differences adolescent identity exploration commitment urban rural environments jari erik nurmi millicent e poole virpi kalakoski sociocultural context play important role identity development shaping opportunities adolescents facing examine adolescents living urban rural environments compared terms age differences identity exploration commitment younger 13 14 year olds older 16 17 year olds males females urban rural areas australia n 367 finland n 316 investigated participants completed exploration commitment questionnaire items concerning future education occupation family results showed older youths living australian urban environments showed higher levels exploration commitment concerning future education occupation younger ones age related decrease variables adolescents living australian rural areas urban vs rural differences found finnish adolescents 1996 association professionals services adolescents introduction identity development described erikson 1959 process challenges demands society require young person make choices decisions lead irreversible role patterns commitments adult life subsequently related self definitions marcia 1980 developed identity status paradigm identity formation described terms crises young people go commitments make concerning vocational direction ideological stance sexual orientation basis two processes identity characterized terms four statuses i e identity diffusion moratorium foreclosure achievement recently bosma 1985 grotevant 1987 suggested fruitful describe adolescent identity development terms processes exploration alternatives commitment choices different domains life terms four statuses process model identity development applied study studies last 15 years shown ideology plays relatively minor role adolescents thinking bosma 1985 nurmi 1991 decided examine levels exploration commitment related future education occupation family related issues key assumption identity theories identity progress adolescence function age development suggested due factors changes individual needs maturational processes age related societal demands reprint requests correspondence addressed j e nurmi department psychology university jyva skyla p o box 35 40351 jyva¨skyla finland 0140 1971 96 05044310 18 00 0 1996 association professionals services adolescents 444 j e nurmi m e poole v kalakoski erikson 1959 marcia 1980 majority studies research field shown change mature statuses adolescence waterman et al 1974 meilman 1979 bosma 1985 kroger 1988 streitmatter 1993 studies failed demonstrate age related changes grotevant thornbecke 1982 adams jones 1983 study interested examining extent age differences adolescents identity exploration commitment vary different sociocultural contexts adolescents developmental environments consist variety contexts peer groups family culture society live play important role identity development grotevant 1987 suggested societies affect process identity formation shaping members expectations beliefs options available regulating access alternatives region adolescents live i e urban rural environments societal factor important impact identity development expected environments differ educational opportunities career prospects provide adolescents rural areas socialized traditional types values roles urban environments differences expected reflected identity development age related increase identity exploration commitments related education occupations takes place urban environments wide variety educational options good career prospects hand traditional values typical rural environments expected reflected importance familyrelated topics identity work purpose study urban environment defined densely populated metropolitan area turn rural environment defined relatively small community strong emphasis agriculture economic structure consequently study interested examining extent identity development progresses differently adolescents living urban rural environments possible urban vs rural differences educational opportunities career prospects vary countries examined differences adolescents identity development two societies australia finland australia culturally diverse country 17 million inhabitants duration patterns schooling vary common pattern follows school starts age 5 7 years primary school adolescents move secondary school age 12 attend secondary schools 3 years opt move vocational school age 15 continue high schools 2 years matriculating age 17 enter university college 3 6 years poole 1994 substantial amount variation terms educational occupational options urban rural areas australia poole 1994 secondary schools rural regions offer breadth curriculum options schools larger metropolitan areas true rural universities technical institutes occupational options limited rural regions size communities specializations associated local industry turn finland culturally homogenous scandinavian country 5 million inhabitants school starts age 7 first major transition finnish adolescents occurs age 16 continue 3 year senior high schools 445 identity exploration commitment matriculate age 19 continue vocational schools graduate age 18 19 regional distribution secondary senior high schools vocational schools institutes higher education fairly country nurmi siurala 1994 affected sociocultural environments identity development progress differently boys girls suggested interpersonal issues closely associated girls identity formation boys marcia 1980 bilsker et al 1988 findings contradictory archer 1989 patterson et al 1992 streitmatter 1993 possible variation sex roles societies urban rural areas influence gender differences identity exploration commitment nurmi 1991 reason comparison gender study adolescent developmental context systematically varied level urbanization urban vs rural society adolescents living australia vs finland interested extent sociocultural context associated development exploration commitment comparison younger older groups adolescents gender method sample countries participants chosen representative sample terms social class parental education ethnicity academic ability pupils attending junior high schools finland comprehensive state schools senior high schools living urban rural areas australian participants 13 14 year old group australian sample comprised 146 urban adolescents 76 boys 70 girls 53 rural adolescents 19 boys 34 girls attending junior high schools 16 17 year old group comprised 120 urban adolescents 71 boys 49 girls 48 rural adolescents 16 boys 32 girls attending senior high schools urban participants lived two urban metropolitan cities populations 1 5 million 3 3 millions rural participants lived rural community population 15 000 situated 150 km melbourne australia multicultural society geographic distribution immigrant communities posed special problem sample selection problem solved selecting school districts distribution migrant populations closely resembled population australia australian sample 9 participants born outside australia majority united kingdom india asian countries 20 mothers 25 fathers participants born outside australia immigrant background mainly abovementioned countries figures fit statistics entire australian adolescent population poole 1994 turned participants urban environments immigrant background 35 rural areas 16 c 2 12 31 p 0 001 meaning mother father born outside australia 446 j e nurmi m e poole v kalakoski finnish participants 13 14 year old group finnish sample comprised 100 urban adolescents 47 boys 53 girls 53 rural adolescents 20 boys 33 girls attending comprehensive schools junior high school 16 17 year old group comprised 102 urban adolescents 36 boys 66 girls 61 rural adolescents 20 boys 41 girls attending senior high schools urban participants lived urban metropolitan areas helsinki total population 830 000 rural community population 10 000 situated 150 km north helsinki finland homogeneous society terms ethnic cultural groups sampling major problem 1 3 sample born outside finland figure resembled percentage mothers fathers born outside country urban adolescents overrepresented countries age groups girls overrepresented sample 16 17 year old finnish adolescents order make sure distort analyses age gender urban vs rural cultural differences method unweighted means applied analyses variance measures exploration commitment questionnaire nurmi et al 1995 measure levels exploration commitment separately three domains future life education occupation family exploration education assessed asking three questions concerning extent participants sought information planned domain lives e g think studies plan future education participants responded questions five choice answer scale 1 5 daily explorations related future occupation family assessed three types question difference questions described concerned future occupation family wording questions three domains life planned possible cronbach alpha reliabilities explorations concerning future education occupation family 0 73 0 74 0 79 respectively commitment related education assessed asking four questions concerning extent participants committed decisions domain life extent realized plans e g determined fulfill plans future education high school participants responded questions five choice answer scale e g 1 definitely 5 definitely level commitment concerning future occupation assessed asking four identical questions difference concerned domain future occupation similarly level commitment concerning future family assessed three analogous questions wording questions concerning three domains life planned possible cronbach alpha reliabilities scores measuring commitment decisions concerning future education occupation family 0 60 0 62 0 61 respectively procedure data gathering countries carried trained research assistants school classrooms ordinary school hours teachers present beginning participants preliminary information research 447 identity exploration commitment asked complete exploration commitment questionnaire study carried april 1991 australian participants completed english version questionnaire finnish participants finnish version english version developed first translated finnish bilinguists order validate finnish translation different bilinguists translated questionnaire back english back translations compared original english version results order examine age urban vs rural gender country related differences adolescent exploration commitment concerning future education occupation family four analyses variance carried separately variable differences number participants cell method unweighted means applied analyses variance education concerning exploration related future education results showed statistically significant main effects age f 1 667 20 98 p 0 001 gender f 1 667 9 79 p 0 01 age country f 1 667 7 08 p 0 01 age country gender f 1 667 6 32 p 0 05 age country urban vs rural f 1 667 23 58 p 0 001 interactions statistically significant effects see table 1 due fact older youths showed higher levels exploration concerning future education younger adolescents subgroups living australian rural areas level exploration related future education higher girls m 2 86 d 0 66 boys m 2 67 d 0 72 case 16 17 year old finnish adolescents main effects urban vs rural country variables concerning commitment related future education results showed statistically significant main effect age f 1 667 3 81 p 0 05 age country urban vs rural interaction f 1 667 12 32 p 0 001 effects due fact older youths living australian urban areas showed higher levels commitment domain life younger adolescents finding reversed adolescents living australian rural regions table 1 finnish adolescents showed different pattern older finns living rural areas showed higher commitment younger ones difference found adolescents living urban environments table 1 statistically significant gender country interaction f 1 667 7 41 p 0 01 commitment concerning future education girls m 3 70 d 0 67 committed education boys m 3 47 d 0 67 australia difference girls m 3 49 d 0 55 boys m 3 53 d 0 67 finnish sample main effects gender urban vs rural variables occupation concerning exploration related future occupation results showed 448 j e nurmi m e poole v kalakoski statistically significant main effects age f 1 665 22 85 p 0 001 country f 1 665 13 21 p 0 001 age country urban vs rural interaction f 1 665 8 07 p 0 01 effects table 1 due fact older youths showed higher level exploration related future occupation younger adolescents subgroups living australian rural areas statistically significant main effect gender f 1 665 5 91 p 0 05 related exploration future occupation level exploration domain life higher girls m 2 95 d 0 68 boys m 2 82 d 0 73 main effect urban vs rural variable concerning commitment related future occupation results showed main effect country statistically significant f 1 661 46 17 p 0 001 australian adolescents showed higher levels commitment domain life finnish youths table 1 main effects age gender urban vs rural variables family concerning exploration related future family results showed statistically significant main effect country f 1 659 34 49 p 0 001 gender country f 1 659 6 35 p 0 05 age country f 1 659 21 06 p 0 001 interactions effects due two things first finnish girls m 2 60 d 0 71 showed higher level exploration concerning future family australian girls m 2 04 d 0 71 difference finnish m 2 31 d 0 77 australian boys m 2 07 d 0 81 smaller direction second older adolescents table 1 mean m standard deviations d levels exploration commitment three domains country age urban vs rural variable australia finland 14 years 17 years 14 years 17 years urban rural urban rural urban rural urban rural m m m m m m m m d d d d d d d d n 146 n 53 n 120 n 48 n 100 n 53 n 102 n 61 education exploration 2 53 2 90 2 95 2 77 2 67 2 54 2 89 3 12 0 68 0 77 0 70 0 73 0 66 0 59 0 65 0 56 commitment 3 49 3 67 3 71 3 47 3 49 3 41 3 48 3 64 0 65 0 73 0 73 0 55 0 64 0 64 0 57 0 53 occupation exploration 2 73 3 08 3 17 3 11 2 64 2 66 2 87 3 04 0 69 0 78 0 69 0 71 0 68 0 67 0 63 0 57 commitment 3 52 3 76 3 72 3 62 3 19 3 34 3 29 3 34 0 62 0 65 0 65 0 54 0 62 0 59 0 53 0 48 family exploration 2 05 2 33 1 92 2 09 2 33 2 30 2 55 2 79 0 69 0 84 0 75 0 82 0 71 0 76 0 74 0 73 commitment 3 08 3 14 3 07 3 15 3 16 3 15 3 34 3 48 0 64 0 80 0 69 0 69 0 56 0 53 0 64 0 57 449 identity exploration commitment finland showed higher level exploration domain life younger ones age difference australians table 1 concerning exploration related future family statistically significant main effect urban vs rural variable f 1 659 6 17 p 0 05 revealed adolescents living rural areas showed higher levels exploration related future family living urban environments table 1 main effects age gender concerning commitment related future family results showed statistically significant main effects age f 1 660 4 59 p 0 05 country f 1 660 9 09 p 0 01 age country f 1 660 7 51 p 0 01 gender country f 1 660 4 15 p 0 05 interactions statistically significant effects due fact older youths finland showed higher levels commitment related future family younger adolescents age differences australians table 1 finnish girls m 3 32 d 0 57 showed higher levels commitment future family australian girls m 3 02 d 0 69 difference finnish m 3 22 d 0 62 australian boys m 3 16 d 0 68 smaller main effects gender urban vs rural variables adolescents australian urban regions immigrant background rural regions urban vs rural differences found study reflect australian adolescents immigrant background defined mother father born outside australia compared non immigrant background differences found identity exploration commitment variables discussion major aim study examine extent identity exploration commitment progress differently age youths living urban rural environments assumed rural environments provide adolescents educational options career prospects urban environments age related increase identity exploration commitment domains life rural youths living urban regions findings australian adolescents fit hypothesis levels exploration commitment related future education level exploration related future occupation found increase ages 13 14 16 17 adolescents living urban environments decrease youths living rural areas results assumed reflect lack educational opportunities career prospects australian rural regions poole 1994 educational options diversity curriculums study fields secondary schools universities suggested differ substantially australian rural areas compared urbanized areas poole 1994 findings important suggest age related increase identity exploration commitment marcia 1980 dependent sociocultural context adolescents living shown earlier nurmi et al 1995 high levels exploration commitment related future education 450 j e nurmi m e poole v kalakoski occupation positively associated stability self concept self esteem adolescents living urban living rural environments suggests sociocultural environments adolescents living affect identity exploration commitment reflected selfconcept finnish adolescents lived urban rural environments differ identity exploration commitment lack urban vs rural related differences explanations first regional distribution types school educational institution suggested fairly country nurmi siurala 1994 second finnish rural sample representative youths living areas southern finland deprived areas terms educational opportunities found northern finland contrast australian rural sample came deprived areas country evident need future research replicate results study rural regions finland educational options career prospects limited results showed adolescents living rural areas showed higher levels exploration related future family living urban areas reflect fact people rural areas share traditional types value emphasize role family key institution future lives values typical urban environments reflected high levels exploration issues related future family suggests social values typical adolescents developmental contexts play important role identity formation cross cultural differences found australian adolescents showed higher levels commitment related future occupation finnish youths due fact major school transitions end senior high school beginning university studies take place australia years finland nurmi et al 1995 fact australian adolescents typically finish education earlier finnish youths explain earlier commitment decisions concerning future work career shown age related increase identity work concerning future family varied country older youths finland showed higher levels exploration commitment family related issues younger adolescents age difference australians levels exploration concerning future family higher finnish australian adolescents difference larger girls focal theory adolescents development suggested coleman 1974 provide explanation results australian adolescents showed higher levels commitment related future occupation postponed identity work concerning future family transition period adulthood two gender differences showed results levels exploration related future education occupation higher girls boys girls committed education boys australia results contradictory earlier suggestions achievement related issues play important role girls identity work boys marcia 1980 blisker et al 1988 fit earlier findings girls report goals concerns related future occupation boys nurmi et al 1994 findings study 451 identity exploration commitment reflect recent increase female participation education labour force increase importance exploring educational occupational issues firm commitments educational plans see patterson et al 1992 three limitations considered attempt generalize findings study first identity development investigated cross sectional data age group comparisons type design provide data individual developmental trajectories influenced cohort effects evident need replicate findings longitudinal studies second study based recent process oriented theory identity formation bosma 1985 grotevant 1987 new measures earlier research field identity measure applied relatively short compared earlier measures e g bosma 1985 important future carry research role sociocultural contexts identity development different traditional types measures identity formation third study adolescents identity explorations commitments examined urban rural contexts assumed differ educational options career prospects approach complemented future research two ways first context adolescents growing examined detail terms options prospects provides adolescents perceptions options examined mediating factor contextual factors identity exploration commitment suggested sociocultural context related opportunity structure play important role development adolescents identity exploration commitment grotevant 1987 nurmi 1993 findings study provide evidence notion suggest adolescents identity work progresses differently urban rural environments hypothesis confirmed australian sample evident need replicate findings comparing youths types sociocultural context differ opportunities offer identity work acknowledgements study larger cross cultural research project carried co operative venture australian national university millicent poole university haifa israel rachel seginer university helsinki finland jari erik nurmi preparation article supported grants finnish ministry education australian research council like thank shirley constantine acted research assistant references adams g r jones r m 1983 female adolescents identity development age comparisons perceived child rearing experience developmental psychology 19 249 256 archer l 1989 gender differences identity development issues process domain timing journal youth adolescence 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