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Flourishing in Emerging AdulthoodPositive Development During the Third Decade of Life$
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Laura M. Padilla-Walker and Larry J. Nelson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190260637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190260637.001.0001

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Identity Formation and Moral Development in Emerging Adulthood

Identity Formation and Moral Development in Emerging Adulthood

Chapter:
(p.14) 2 Identity Formation and Moral Development in Emerging Adulthood
Source:
Flourishing in Emerging Adulthood
Author(s):

Daniel Lapsley

Sam A. Hardy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190260637.003.0002

We argue in this chapter that moral development and identity formation are not disjunctive topics, and that morality and identity ramify in the personal formation of emerging adults in ways that have dispositional implications for how the rest of their lives go. Moral self-identity is crucial to living a life of purpose and for setting one’s life projects on a pathway that contributes to well-being, generativity, and integrity. We first review research on the role of moral purpose in personality development and the conditions that encourage it. We then review the major ways that self-identity has been conceptualized in terms of statuses, processes, and narratives, with particular emphasis on the achievement of identity maturity and its contribution to successful adaptation. We then discuss moral self-identity more directly and outline gaps in the literature and possible lines of future research.

Keywords:   moral development, identity formation, emerging adults, moral purpose, moral self-identity, identity, personality development, well-being

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