Identity Styles: Predictors of Reading and Writing Abilities

Zohre Mohamadi, Fariba Haji Mokhtari


How the individual differences prime different learning process is well addressed in literature. But, what is missing from these analyses is how learners with different identity styles approach reading and writing skills and if different identity styles can predict differentiated language performance. The present study aims at investigating the relationship between identity styles, and reading/writing skills of Iranian intermediate female EFL learners. One the basis of the results of Nelson language proficiency test, 120 participants were selected to participate in this research. Participants' answers to Berzonsky's Identity Style Inventory (ISI3) and reading and writing parts of Preliminary English Test were analyzed. The results indicated that informational and normative identity styles were found to be positively correlated and diffuse-avoidant style was negatively correlated with reading and writing abilities whereas commitment identity didn't bear any significant relationships. The findings also indicated that informational style acted as the best predictor of these skills. Implications for language teachers are suggested.



Reading and writing skills, Informational identity styles, normative identity styles, Diffuse avoidant style, Commitment style

Full Text:



Berzonsky, M. D. (1986). Discovery versus constructivist interpretations of identity formation: Consideration of additional implications. Journal of Early Adolescence, 6, 111–117.

Berzonsky, M. D. (1988). Self-theorists, identity status, and social cognition. In D. K. Lapsley & F. C. Power (Eds.), Self, ego, and identity: Integrative approaches (pp. 243- 262). New-York: Springer-Verlag.

Berzonsky, M. D. (1990). Self-construction over the life-span: A process perspective on identity formation. Advances in personal construct psychology, 1, 155-186.

Berzonsky, M.D. (1992). Identity style and coping strategies. Journal of Adolescent Research, 4, 771-786.

Berzonsky, M. D. (1992b). Identity style and coping strategies. Journal of Personality, 60, 771-788.

Berzonsky, M. D. (1993). A constructivist view of identity development: People as post- positivist self-theorists. In J. Kroger (Ed.), Discussions on ego identity (pp. 169– 183). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Berzonsky, M. D. (2002). Identity processing styles, self construction, and personal epistemic assumptions: A social–cognitive perspective. Paper presented at the workshop ‘‘Social Cognition in Adolescence: Its Developmental Significance’’, Groningen.

Berzonsky, M. D. (2003). Identity style and well-being: does commitment matter? Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 3, 131-142.

Berzonsky, M.D. (2004). Identity processing style, self-construction, and personal epistemic assumptions: A social- cognitive perspective. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1, 303-315.

Berzonsky, M. D., & Ferrari, J. R. (1996). Identity orientation and decisional strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 20, 597 –606.

Berzonsky, M. D., & Kuk, L. S. (2000). Identity status, identity processing style and the transition to university. Journal of Adolescent Research, 15, 81-98.

Berzonsky, M.D., & Kuk, L. S. (2005). Identity Style, Psychosocial Maturity and academic performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 235-247.

Berzonsky, M. D., & Neimeyer, G. J. (1994). Ego identity status and identity processing orientation: The moderating role of commitment. Journal of Research in Personality, 28, 425-435.

Dollinger, S. M. (1995). Identity styles and the five-factor model of personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 29, 475–479.

Duriez, B., & Soenens, B. (2006). Personality, identity styles and authoritarianism. An integrative study among late adolescents. European Journal of Personality, 20, 397-417.

Duriez, B., Soenens, B., & Beyers, W. (2004). Religiosity, personality, and identity styles: An integrative study among late adolescents in Flanders (Belgium). Journal of Personality, 72, 877-910.

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.

Kaplan, A., & Flum, H. (2010). Achievement goal orientations and identity formation styles. Educational Research Review, 5, 50-67.

Lutwak, N., Ferrari, J. R., & Cheek, J. M. (1998). Shame, guilt and identity in men and women:

The role of identity orientation and processing style in moral effects. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 1027-1036.

Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (2001). Changing perspectives on good language learners. Quarterly, 35(2), 307-322.

Sharma, S., & Sharma, M. (2010). Self, social identity and psychological well-being. Psychological Studies, 55(2), 118–136.

Smits, I., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., Duriez, B., Berzonsky, M., and Goossens, L. (2008). Perceived parenting dimensions and identity styles: Exploring the socialization of adolescents’ processing of identity-relevant information. Journal of Adolescence, 31, 151–164.

Soenens, B., Duriez, B., & Goossens, L. (2005). Social–psychological profiles of identitystyles: Attitudinal and social–cognitive correlates in late adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 28, 107-125.

Vleioras, G., & Bosma, H. A. (2005). Are identity styles important for psychological well-being? Journal of Adolescence, 28, 397–409.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.