Basic function of adolescence -one of the human life periods when physical and mental changes are experienced most heavily- is suggested to be identity development. Recent developmental psychology studies hypothesized that identity development starts during adolescence but intensifies during transi-tion to adulthood. This study addresses identity concept, in detail, from a theoretical point of view and in the scope of empirical studies. Literature offers quite different explanations and models as well as a few basic theories in this framework. The number of studies on identity subject is higher than the number of studies on other psycho-social study subjects. This study presents the theories offering basic explanations about identity (such as the works of Erikson, Marcia, Berzonsky, Waterman) and the theories referring to identity (such as the works of Blos, Arnett, Kegan). Theories related to identity are addressed under the titles of identity exploration, identity status and identity styles. Almost all of the identity studies conducted in Turkey focused on identity status. In this context, new theories and tendencies may be taken into consideration in the studies to be made in Turkey on identity development.
identity, transition to adulthood, identity formation, adolescence