Explanations of Adlescent Identity

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Explanations of Adolescent Identity
Theory Evidence
Erikson's theory of Psychosocial Erikson claims that before adolescence, the child Very influential theory that has helped us to form general
Development establishes a sense of identity but that it's challenged ideas on how teens are stressed and their consequent
by the emotions etc. that the teen goes through. The actions. SMITH AND CRAWFORD- over 60% of teens in one
teen experiences role confusion in politics etc. The teen secondary school reported at least one incident where
tries to see who they want to be and how they are seen they had suicidal thoughts. EVAL= one school so this may
by others. He produces the idea of a psychosocial be a common thing in where they live. Small sample.
moratorium where activity is temporarily suspended. Possibility of leading questions?
During this time, teens try out several different roles to
decide which one suits them the best. This helps them Amongst Americans of 15-24 yrs. suicide is the third
to establish an adult identity. The adult can then use this highest cause of death. EVAL= 15-24 yrs. isn't teen... more
identity to help them deal with issues that come around like 12-18yrs! This is still less than middle aged adults.
e.g. forming relationships. A lack of identity can lead to LARSON ET AL- assessed the emotional states of US
4 negative behaviours. 1) NEGATIVE IDENTITY- an children between 9-15yrs on an hourly basis. He concluded
extreme identity is adopted e.g. drug user, as a more that the time of adolescence was not linked to increased
functional role can't be found a negative identity is emotionality. EVAL- increased emotionality is associated
better than no identity. 2) INTIMACY- intimate with later adolescence and this was done with early
relationships are avoided in case their own fragile sense adolescents. Small sample size. CSIKSZENTMIHALYI ET
of identity is lost. Inappropriate relationships result or AL-found those American teens displayed extreme moods
isolation may be preferred. 3) TIME PERSPECTIVES. 4) swings in the space of an hour whereas in adults it took
INDUSTRY. Erikson assumes that females develop a several hours to move from one mood to another. EVAL-
sense of identity later than males because they realise not every stage is accompanied by a crisis. He also did very
that their identity will rely on who they marry. However, little research on women. His work focussed on already
this is very outdated... jobs are rarely for life and disturbed teens so we can't generalise his work to
women are more independent now. everyone. As MARCIA suggests we can have more than

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Explanations of Adolescent Identity
one identity. The research only focussed on western
Marcia's Theory Erikson's work was oversimplified. He also argued that SUPPORTING- Marcia's identity statuses were supported
there are different ways in which teens can fail to by research... MEILMAN- Used the identity statuses of
achieve a stable sense of identity. He also argued that males between 12 and 24 (this isn't adolescence!). Semi
better methods were needed to assess identity status. structured interviews.…read more

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Explanations of Adolescent Identity
have done in past). Not all adolescents pass through stable in your choices as a teen it doesn't mean you can't
each stage. have another identity crisis.
Blos' Adolescent Relationship One view of teen relationships is the transition from SUPPORTING EVIDENCE- STEINBURG ET AL- measured
parent orientation to peer orientation. Blos says emotional autonomy.…read more


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