Wie ben ik zonder jou? Identiteitsontwikkeling na het verlies van een broer of zus
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The present study was aimed at exploring differences in identity development between adolescents and young adults who lost a sibling during or before adolescence and adolescents and young adults who didn’t lose a brother or sister. The Identity dimensions of the Utrecht-Management Identity Commitment Scale (U-MICS): commitment, in depth exploring and reconsideration of commitment were measured in a sample consisting of 149 young people (60 bereaved and 89 non-bereaved). Other variables included in this study, among them some variables from the Expanded Texas Grief Inventory (ETGI), are: age of respondent at time of siblings death, age of sibling at time of death, whether or not death was expected, whether the deceased sibling was the same or opposite sex of the respondent and the time that had passed since siblings death. The findings of this research suggest that loss of a sibling has no implications for identity development. Results show no difference between bereaved and non bereaved samples on commitment, exploration and reconsideration of commitment. There was also no significant difference between male and female of the bereaved sample and also no significant difference between gender of the bereaved sibling and gender of subject on the identity dimensions commitment, exploration and reconsideration of commitment. However an interpretation of the data suggests that the U-MICS might not be the most indicated questionnaire for this subject. The self report questions, ETGI, suggest more identity diffusion than the U-MICS results show. Further qualitative research, resulting in the construction of a questionnaire, is necessary to further investigate identity formation in people who lost a sibling by death during their childhood or adolescence.