Identity processes and experience of being alone during late adolescence

Alessandro Musetti, Paola Corsano, Marinella Majorano, Tiziana Mancini


The aim of this study was to assess the relation between the experience of being alone and identity processes analysing the mediation role of adolescents’ age and gender. The Ego Identity Process Questionnaire – EIPQ (Balistrieri, Busch-Rossnagel, & Geisinger, 1995) and the Louvain Loneliness Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents – LLCA (Marcoen, Goossens, & Caes, 1987) were administered to 181 high school adolescents and 141 university students, classed as late adolescents. Data revealed that, both in the interpersonal and ideological domains, exploration was positively related both with affinity for aloneness and with peer and parent-related loneliness, while in the interpersonal domains commitment was negatively related to these dimensions. Moreover, exploration was associated with a positive attitude to being alone, but not with peer-related loneliness in older individuals. Results supported the hypothesis proposed by Buchholz (1997), who defined “alonetime”, or the time spent in solitude, as an opportunity for exploration.


loneliness; aloneness; exploration; commitment

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