Accommodating a new identity: Possible selves, identity change and well-being across two life-transitions

Claudia Manzi, Camillo Regalia, Vivian L. Vignoles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the role of desired, feared, and expected possible future identity structures in the restructuring of identity after two life transitions. A longitudinal study was conducted on 86 young adults during the transition from school to university and 143 adults during the transition to parenthood. In both samples, pre-transition desires and expectations about the restructuring of identity predicted post-transition actual identity structures. Post-transition emotional wellbeing was higher among those whose post-transition identity structures more closely matched their initial desires and less closely matched their initial fears, and among those who reported a greater magnitude of identity change.We propose that possible future identity structures play an important role in the identity accommodation process during life-transitions, and that they have significant implications for well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-984
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • identity
  • well-being


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