Development of identity and relationships with parents and peers during adolescence: Associations with psychopathology


A key developmental task in adolescence is the development of identity, or the experience of continuity of a coherent sense of self. Adolescents who experience difficulties in identity formation tend to experience problems such as school dropout or internalizing symptoms. Adolescents’ interactions with significant others such as parents and friends are thought to be crucial for optimal identity development. In social interactions, adolescents receive self-relevant feedback that supports their development, especially in transitions from childhood to adolescence and from adolescence to emerging adulthood. In several projects, our research group examines the mutual relations between identity, relationships with parents and peers, and internalizing problems.

The guest researcher, Prof. Zimmer-Gembeck, is an expert on relationships and identity, and on the bidirectional associations between supportive and stressful experiences with peers and parents on the one hand and children’s mental health on the other hand. This expertise is of important value for the described projects. In 2014, Prof. Zimmer-Gembeck visited Utrecht university for a summer school with PhD students and provided important input on some of our projects. During her proposed visit of 3 months, she will offer important input in the design of the study and collaborate on the papers that are currently being developed.





Prof. dr. S.J.T. Branje

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Utrecht Centre for Child and Adolescent Studies


15/05/2019 tot 15/08/2019