A1 Journal article (refereed)
The role of psychological flexibility and socioeconomic status in adolescent identity development (2023)

Kukkola, A., Mäyry, A., Keinonen, K., Lappalainen, P., Tunkkari, M., & Kiuru, N. (2023). The role of psychological flexibility and socioeconomic status in adolescent identity development. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 30, 112-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2023.09.005

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKukkola, Aliisa; Mäyry, Annukka; Keinonen, Katariina; Lappalainen, Päivi; Tunkkari, Mari; Kiuru, Noona

Journal or seriesJournal of Contextual Behavioral Science



Publication year2023


Pages range112-120


Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/90730


This study examined the roles of psychological flexibility and socioeconomic status (SES) in adolescents' identity development during the transition from lower secondary school to upper secondary education. Psychological flexibility was measured using the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire (AFQ-8; Greco et al., 2008) and identity processes were measured with the Dimensions of Identity Development Scale (Dids; luyckx et al., 2008). SES was assessed using the educational level of the highest-educated parent. The sample comprised 885 adolescents who answered surveys in Grade 9, as well as in the first and third year of upper secondary education. The results showed, first, that psychological flexibility was both concurrently and prospectively related to adolescents' identity formation (exploration in breadth and commitment making) as well as to their identity evaluation (exploration in depth, identification with commitment, ruminative exploration) processes. Second, the higher SES adolescents had, the more they had exploration in breadth and exploration in depth in the first year of upper secondary education. Thirdly, associations of psychological flexibility with commitment making and identification with commitments were stronger for adolescents with a higher SES than for adolescents with lower SES. The results suggest that psychological flexibility may play a key role in adolescents’ identity development during critical educational transitions.

Keywordsyoung peopleyouthidentity (mental objects)socioeconomic status

Free keywordsadolescence; identity development; psychological flexibility; socioeconomic status

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-03 at 18:46