Theo Klimstra

Theo Klimstra
Tufts University | Tufts · Department of Child Development

PhD

About

125
Publications
87,278
Reads
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4,094
Citations
Introduction
I am a lecturer at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. My research focuses on identity formation and personality development in adolescence and young adulthood, and mainly covers the domains of human development/developmental psychology and social/personality psychology.
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - present
Tilburg University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
October 2010 - September 2012
KU Leuven
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2010 - September 2010
Utrecht University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2006 - May 2010
Utrecht University
Field of study
  • Adolescent Development
September 2001 - November 2005
University of Groningen
Field of study
  • Developmental Psychology

Publications

Publications (125)
Article
Full-text available
The separation-individuation, evolutionary, maturational, and expectancy violation-realignment perspectives propose that the relationship between parents and adolescents deteriorate as adolescents become independent. This study examines the extent to which the development of adolescents’ perceived relationship with their parents is consistent with...
Article
Identity research largely emerged from clinical observations. Decades of empirical work advanced the field in refining existing approaches and adding new approaches. Furthermore, the existence of linkages of identity with psychopathology is now well established. Unfortunately, both the directionality of effects between identity aspects and psychopa...
Article
The formation of a stable identity, consisting of a strong set of commitments, is a key developmental task in adolescence and young adulthood. Not resolving this task and lacking strong identity commitments is related to difficulties like depressive symptoms and stressful life events. However, the exact role of identity commitments in these negativ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Overviews on research on personal identity tend to be overly focused on research in North America and West Europe. In this chapter, we argue for a more cosmopolitan approach to identity. We first outline major conceptualizations of identity and etic (cross-cultural) applications of these models outside of the Western world. Next, we discuss specifi...
Article
Full-text available
This is a commentary to "Ten Steps Toward a Better Personality Science: How Quality may be Rewarded More in Research Evaluation" (Leising et al., 2022). It is published in the open access journal Personality Science.
Preprint
Positive peer and romantic relationships are crucial for adolescents’ positive adjustment and relationships with parents lay the foundation for these relationships. This longitudinal meta-analysis examined how supportive and negative parent-adolescent relationships continue into later peer and romantic relationships. Multilevel meta-regressions bas...
Article
Resilience is a key construct in psychology, which describes the maintenance of comparatively good mental health despite of environmental adversities or successful recovery from such adversities. Furthermore, it labels a specific personality type, characterized by high levels across the Big Five. However, whether the resilient type predicts less un...
Chapter
In this chapter, we critically discuss contemporary approaches to infer identity statuses. We will focus on how identity statuses can be delineated through a person-centered approach (e.g., cluster analysis and latent class/profile analysis [LCA/LPA]). These methods can depict how multiple variables are configured within persons, capturing identity...
Article
Since the early 2000s, researchers have been taking advantage of the increasing availability of internet-based technology to gather intensive longitudinal data over short-term (e.g., hours, days) time intervals. However, phenomena that are relevant at long-term (e.g., months, years) time intervals may manifest themselves differently at different ti...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Experiences during the last years of college could stimulate identity formation processes within and across the domains of future plans and education. In the present study, the first research question addressed how identity formation dimensions for education and future plans were associated with each other during the last years in educ...
Article
Traditional personality disorder (PD) taxonomies have been developed for adult populations. We aimed to identify an adolescent hierarchical tree typology of PD indicators to provide classification into broad severity classes but also more fine-grained classification within those classes. A large sample of community adolescents (N = 1,940) completed...
Article
Increasing immigration around the world has affected the lives of children and adolescents. The ability to cope with the stress of migration and adaptation to a new culture likely is an important protective factor for optimal identity development under these conditions. The present study examined the role of coping strategies in interpersonal ident...
Preprint
Stressful events are associated with various outcomes, but there is variability in these associations suggesting that the interpretation of these events is important. This interpretation is reflected in the narratives adolescents tell of events, which are largely constructed in social interactions. We examined the associations of perceived friendsh...
Article
Full-text available
Stressful events are associated with various outcomes, but there is variability in these associations suggesting that the interpretation of these events is important. This interpretation is reflected in the narratives adolescents tell of events, which are largely constructed in social interactions. We examined the associations of perceived friendsh...
Article
Full-text available
Grounded in the family stress model and recent studies on cognitive effects of poverty, the current study examines how family material conditions relate to identity-relevant information processing among adolescents via family economic strain, family financial conflicts, and parenting behaviors. Data for the study come from the first wave of a longi...
Article
Identity development has been linked to substance use, but the directionality of this relationship remains unclear. We examined the longitudinal associations of educational and relational identity with substance use across three annual waves in 360 Dutch adolescents (M age = 13.7 years). We found three latent profiles using the identity dimensions...
Preprint
Full-text available
Identity development has been linked to substance use, however, the directionality of this relationship remains unclear. We examined the longitudinal associations of educational and relational identity with substance use across three annual waves in 360 Dutch adolescents (Mage = 13.7 years). Using the identity dimensions of commitment, exploration,...
Preprint
Identity development has been linked to substance use, however, the directionality of this relationship remains unclear. We examined the longitudinal associations of educational and relational identity with substance use across three annual waves in 360 Dutch adolescents (Mean age = 13.7 years). Using the identity dimensions of commitment, explorat...
Article
Narrative identity is likely to be important in the development of personality disorder (PD) in adolescence. Adolescents’ life narratives provide rich material that is near to their lived experiences and reveal individual differences in self and relatedness and in ways of constructing meaning. Narrative identity is linked with well-being and psycho...
Article
Adolescents with schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) features such as odd thinking and bizarre fantasies may have difficulty developing effective life narratives. Their autobiographical memories likely will include aberrant, stressful experiences that are difficult to integrate into a cohesive, healthy sense of self. Moreover, these adolescents...
Article
Full-text available
There is currently a lack of understanding of the structure of personality disorder (PD) trait facets. The network approach may be useful in providing additional insights, uncovering the unique association of each PD trait facet with every other facet. A unique feature of network analysis is centrality, which indicates the importance of the role a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Adolescents with schizotypal personality disorder (STPD) features such as odd thinking and bizarre fantasies may have difficulty developing effective life narratives. Their autobiographical memories likely will include aberrant, stressful experiences that are difficult to integrate into a cohesive, healthy sense of self. Moreover, these adolescents...
Article
Full-text available
The narrative and dual-cycle approach conceptualize and operationalize adolescents’ identity formation in different ways. While the narrative approach focuses on the construction of an autobiographical life story, the dual-cycle approach focuses on the formation of identity commitments. Although these approaches have different emphases, they are co...
Article
Full-text available
Age and gender differences across the lifespan in dark personality features could provide hints regarding these features’ functions. We measured manipulation, callous affect, and egocentricity using the Dirty Dozen and their links with agreeableness in a pooled cross-sectional dataset (N = 4,292) and a longitudinal dataset (N = 325). Age trends for...
Article
Full-text available
Becoming independent from parental financial support and developing financial capabilities are important life tasks in emerging adulthood (EA). However, research on how the accomplishment of these tasks contributes to perceptions of EA features is rare. This study investigates how functioning in the financial domain shapes perceptions of EA feature...
Article
A dimensional perspective on personality pathology in which trait assessment plays an important role has been proposed in the DSM-5, as represented in the PID-5 measure. In an attempt to increase the feasibility of the personality disorder (PD) assessment process, Maples and colleagues constructed a reduced, 100-item version of the PID-5. This stud...
Article
This 8-wave person-centered multi-informant study tested whether the quality of parent–adolescent relationships predicted the romantic experiences of young adults and their partners (N = 374; 54.8% girls; Mage = 13.08 years, SDage = 0.48 at the first measurement wave). Perceptions of parent–adolescent relationships were assessed using adolescent, m...
Preprint
The narrative and dual-cycle approach conceptualize and operationalize adolescents’ identity formation in different ways. While the narrative approach focuses on the construction of an autobiographical life story, the dual-cycle approach focuses on the formation of identity commitments. Although these approaches have different emphases, they are co...
Preprint
Studies on identity formation focus on various components of identity. However, these components have mainly been studied separately, and researchers in different fields are not always aware of each other’s work. Therefore, this systematic review provides an overview of theories and empirical studies on three key components of identity: distinctive...
Preprint
The formation of a stable identity, consisting of a strong set of commitments, is a key developmental task in adolescence and young adulthood. Not resolving this task and lacking strong identity commitments is related to difficulties like depressive symptoms and stressful life events. However, the exact role of identity commitments in these negativ...
Preprint
Individual distinctiveness is theorized to characterize an adaptive identity, but its importance remained underexplored. In two studies, we investigated the nomological networks of two common conceptualizations of distinctiveness: general and comparative distinctiveness. We compared these to the network of identity formation’s best-validated marker...
Article
Full-text available
The social investment theory (SIT) proposes that personality maturation is triggered by transitions into age‐graded roles and psychological commitment to these roles. The present study examines the predictions of SIT by focusing on the transition from student life to working life. We analysed three‐wave longitudinal data and compared participants w...
Article
Emerging adulthood theory highlights ambivalence about one’s adult status as a distinctive feature of this period. However, most studies that addressed this ambivalence employed rather limited, single-item measures, or measures that focused on specific life domains but addressed them separately. Although existing literature suggests that various li...
Article
Emotion dysregulation and hyperreactivity are considered central features of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We assumed that such emotion dysregulation is also reflected in increased crying behavior of these patients and, consequently, hypothesized that BPD patients (N=62), compared to Cluster C personality disorder patients (Cluster C-PD; N...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work has identified important correlational linkages between the dark triad of personality (Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism) and antisocial behavior in adolescence. However, little is known about the longitudinal associations between these personality characteristics and antisocial behavior, and the processes underlying these...
Article
Full-text available
Background Adolescents face major developmental tasks such as increasing individuation and establishing autonomy. These developmental tasks increase demands on adolescent self-control, hereby putting youth with poor effortful control at risk for psychopathology. Specific parenting behaviors might be warranted to buffer against this risk. Objective...
Article
Individual distinctiveness is theorized to characterize an adaptive identity, but its importance remained underexplored. In two studies, we investigated the nomological networks of two common conceptualizations of distinctiveness: general and comparative distinctiveness. We compared these to the network of identity formation’s best-validated marker...
Article
According to Linehan (1993), emotion dysregulation is a central feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). We hypothesized that patients with BPD are emotionally hyperresponsive. For BPD treatment, it is important to evaluate this hypothesis, because, if it is supported, therapeutic interventions could be designed to help patients to better...
Article
Full-text available
Although studies have explored how cultural identity impacts young people’s daily lives, these studies have exclusively focused on daily variability in cultural identity salience, overlooking daily variability in the underlying developmental processes. In the present study, we used a 12-day daily assessment conducted with 873 Hispanic college stude...
Article
Studies on identity formation focus on various components of identity. However, these components have mainly been studied separately, and researchers in different fields are not always aware of each other's work. Therefore, this systematic review provides an overview of theories and empirical studies on three key components of identity: distinctive...
Article
The current study is among the first to examine rank-order stability and mean-level change across college in both broad Big Five personality trait domains (e.g., Neuroticism) and the narrower facets underlying these domains (i.e., self-reproach, anxiety, and depression). In addition, the current study tests longitudinal associations between Big Fiv...
Article
Developmental changes in adolescents’ relationships with parents and friends intertwine, but individual differences in these relationships are likely to emerge as not all adolescents develop similarly. Generalized anxiety symptoms may underlie these individual differences, as these symptoms have frequently been associated with interpersonal difficu...
Article
Two main reasons for dropping out of higher education are making an erroneous educational choice (an identity commitment) and lack of motivation. This study examined whether identity formation and motivation among prospective students at the moment of choosing a bachelor's program (N=8723) predicted their academic achievement in their first year. P...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we discuss identity formation during adolescence and young adulthood focusing on two prominent contemporary models. Both models are extensions of Marcia’s (1966) original model of identity formation, in which dimensions of commitment and exploration are split into three or five processes. We review research on general developmental...
Article
Identity formation is a key developmental task in adolescence. Although many adolescents in modern societies face issues of identity, there are substantial individual differences in identity exploration and commitment. Little is known about the origins of these individual differences. The current study investigated the genetic and environmental con...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The present study investigated deficiencies in different components of emotional intelligence in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Method: The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) were used to assess EI dimensions. BPD patients (N = 85; 69 women; M = 33.6 years) we...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the role of person–group dissimilarity in personality in peer victimization. It was hypothesized that adolescents who show more deviation from the classroom norm in personality experience more peer victimization. Data from 1108 adolescents (48% boys; Mage = 13.56 years, SD = 1.13) from 54 classrooms were used to test this...
Article
Full-text available
Early executive functioning is an important predictor for future development of children’s cognitive skills and behavioral outcomes. Parenting behavior has proven to be a key environmental determinant of child executive functioning. However, the association of parental affect and cognitions directed to the child with child executive functioning has...
Article
Important linkages between daily mood and identity formation have been theorized, but have not been empirically tested as of yet. The present study provided a first examination of these linkages within individuals (N = 392; 55.1% boys; Mage at T1 = 13.24, SD = 0.44) across 15 series of 5 days distributed over five years. Results revealed negative w...
Article
Full-text available
In the present research, we examined associations between contextual and individual factors and adolescents’ conflict resolution with mothers. In Study 1, we explored links between maternal responsiveness and psychological control and adolescent conflict resolution styles (positive problem solving, conflict engagement, withdrawal, and compliance) w...
Article
No previous studies examined longitudinal associations between personality facets and identity dimensions in early and middle adolescence. To uncover these relationships, we test the direction of effects of domain- and facet-level personality traits with identity dimensions in early and middle adolescence. For this purpose, we used two annual waves...
Article
Person-centred approaches classify individuals with similar attributes in the same group and describe differences between these groups of individuals. However, these approaches are scarcely used, partly due to their low predictive power. This study aimed to overcome previous limitations using an adjusted person-centred procedure to identify a relia...
Article
Identity formation is a lifelong task, yet much research focuses on adolescence and emerging adulthood. Little is known about whether parents' identities are related to their adolescent children's identities. The present studies were designed to examine intergenerational associations. Specifically, we focused on identity styles (Study 1 with 191 mo...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Utrecht-Management of Identity Commitments Scale (U-MICS), a self-report measure aimed at assessing identity processes of commitment, in-depth exploration, and reconsideration of commitment. We tested its factor structure in university students from a large array of cultura...
Article
Accumulating evidence suggests that the Dark Triad of personality (i.e., Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) is useful in explaining individual differences in adult adjustment. The present study is among the first to examine unique effects of these traits on multi-informant ratings of adolescent aggressive behavior. In two samples (Ns =...
Presentation
Maes, M., Wang, J. M., Van den Noortgate, W., & Goossens, L. (2016). Loneliness and attitudes toward being alone in Belgian and Chinese Adolescents: Examining measurement invariance. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 1408-1415. doi:10.1007/s10826-015-0336-y Maes, M., Klimstra, T., Van den Noortgate, W., & Goossens, L. (2015). Factor structur...
Article
New frameworks for studying linkages between personality and psychopathology are needed. Yet, it is crucial to incorporate extant knowledge on both personality and psychopathology in such new models. In particular, we argue that a dimensional approach to psychopathology is preferred over a categorical approach based on arbitrary distinctions betwee...
Article
Personality traits are hypothesized to be among the most important factors contributing to individual differences in identity development. However, longitudinal studies linking Big Five personality traits to contemporary identity models (in which multiple exploration and commitment processes are distinguished) are largely lacking. To gain more insi...
Article
Benefits and disadvantages of solitude for adolescents are often highlighted. However, research focusing on adolescents’ attitudes towards solitude and their associations with such disadvantages or benefits is rather limited. The present study provides a personcentred perspective on the co-occurrence of two attitudes towards solitude (i.e., aversio...
Article
The aim of this cross-national study was to assess the relationships among sense of community (SoC) vis-à-vis the residential community (i.e., one's home town), identity formation processes, and feelings of loneliness toward parents and peers. The sample included 431 Italian adolescents (59.4% females) and 221 Belgian (Flemish) adolescents (54.3% f...
Article
Love and work constitute two life-defining identity domains for emerging adults. The present study utilized a five-dimensional identity model and examined identity configurations across these two domains, capturing the degree to which identity statuses correspond across domains. A sample of German 18–30-year-olds who were either working or studying...
Poster
Maes, M., Klimstra, T., Van den Noortgate, W., & Goossens, L. (2015). Factor structure and measurement invariance of a multidimensional loneliness scale: Comparisons across gender and age. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 1829-1837. doi:10.1007/s10826-014-9986-4
Article
This study focuses on the factor structure of a multidimensional loneliness measure, that is, the Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents (LACA). Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on a large sample of children and adolescents (N = 9,676) in Belgium. Results indicated that the supposed four-factor structure of the instr...
Article
Full-text available
The role of parenting (adolescent-perceived maternal solicitation of information and control), and child-driven processes (adolescent disclosure and secrecy) in parental knowledge of adolescents' activities, norm-breaking, and anxiety were examined among 498 poor Palestinian youth (M = 15 years) living in refugee camps in Jordan. With family relati...
Article
Full-text available
Inspired by the common sense model, the present cross-sectional study examined illness perceptions and coping as intervening mechanisms in the relationship between Big Five personality traits and illness adaptation in adults with Type 1 diabetes. A total of 368 individuals with Type 1 diabetes (18-35 years old) completed questionnaires on personali...
Article
The directionality of effects in the associations between personality and externalizing behavior (i.e., delinquency, soft drugs use, and alcohol abuse) is unclear. Moreover, previous studies only examined personality trait domains when examining these associations, whereas personality facets underlying these broad domains provide more specificity....