Elisabetta Crocetti

Identity formation in «invisible» adolescents: A research on inmates

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Adolescence; Prison; Identity; Processes; Longitudinal.

This contribution sought to examine identity formation in adolescents in prison. For this purpose, two studies were conducted: the first study (cross-sectional) examined differences in identity processes shown by inmates (N = 34) and their peers in a control group (N = 53); the second study (longitudinal) analyzed how inmates' identity formation changes over time (N = 31). In both studies, participants completed the Italian version of the Utrecht-Management of Identity Commitments Scale (U-MICS). The results show that adolescents in prison have a much more uncertain school identity than their peers in school, but the experience in the prison context seems to provide the opportunity to undertake a new developmental pathway, characterized by the consolidation of school identity. For what regards interpersonal identity , there were no differences between inmates and their peers; in this case, the prison experience was mainly associated with a reconsideration of prior commitments.

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