A Multi-layered Perspective on PSychological individuality in adolescents with chronic illness (MaPPS-Project): A long-term longitudinal inquiry into young adulthood
Up to 20% of Western adolescents have a chronic illness. Chronic illness has been described as a defining life experience, and many youth struggle with reconciling the illness with who they are as a person. A daunting challenge for research is to capture such ‘psychological individuality’, or the important psychological differences that distinguish one person from the other. One integrative framework that has garnered considerable attention holds a multi-layered, tripartite perspective on individuality, consisting of dispositional traits (the person as actor), identity commitment and exploration processes (the person as agent), and integrative life narratives (the person as author). Long-term research upholding such a differentiated and integrative perspective in individuals with a chronic illness is non-existent, despite the difficulties these youth may encounter in experiencing and constructing a sense of individuality. The MaPPS-project extends two large longitudinal studies in adolescents and emerging adults with a chronic illness (type 1 diabetes and congenital heart disease) with three additional datawaves into young adulthood, resulting in two long-term studies (1) to examine and unpack psychological individuality in youth with a chronic illness from a developmental perspective; and (2) to investigate how the different layers of psychological individuality are related to long-term generic and illness-specific adaptation, social role functioning, and health care use.