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11. A Topical Approach to. LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT. The Self, Identity, and Personality. John W. Santrock. The Self. Self-Understanding. Self — All characteristics of a person Self-understanding, self-esteem, self-concept

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life span development

11

A Topical Approach to

LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT

The Self, Identity, and Personality

John W. Santrock

self understanding

The Self

Self-Understanding
  • Self — All characteristics of a person
    • Self-understanding, self-esteem, self-concept
  • Identity— who a person is, representing a synthesis of self-understanding
  • Personality— enduring personal characteristics of individuals
trait theories
Trait Theories
  • Traits(relatively stable personal characteristics used to describe someone)
  • Key Figures:
    • Early Trait Theorists: Allport, Cattell, Eysenck
    • Modern trait theorists: McCrae and Costa’s Five-Factor Model (FFM)
self understanding5

The Self

Self-Understanding
  • Cognitive representation of the self, substance of self conceptions
  • Visual self-recognition tests infants
  • Young children perceive self as external characteristics
  • Older children recognize difference between inner and outer states
early childhood

The Self

Early Childhood
  • Self-understanding
    • Confusion of self, mind, and body
    • Self-descriptions are physical, concrete, active, and unrealistic positive overestimations
  • Understanding others
    • Individual differences in social understanding linked to caregivers
middle and late childhood

The Self

Middle and Late Childhood
  • Self-understanding: 5 key changes
    • Internal characteristicsemphasized
    • More referencing insocial descriptions
    • More use ofsocial comparisons
    • Distinguish betweenreal self and ideal self
    • Realistic in self-evaluations
  • Understanding others
    • Increased perspective taking
the role of perspective taking

The Self

The Role of Perspective-Taking
  • Perspective-taking— ability to assume another’s perspective and understand his or her thoughts and feelings
  • Important in children developing prosocial and antisocial attitudes and behaviors
  • Affects peer status and quality of friendships
self understanding in adolescence

The Self

Self-Understanding in Adolescence
  • Abstract and idealistic
  • Self-conscious; preoccupied with self
  • Contradictions within the self – multiple roles in different contexts realized
  • Fluctuating self over time and situations
  • Compare real and ideal selves
    • Possible selves: what persons may be, would like to be, and are afraid of becoming
  • Self-integration in sense of identity
changes in self understanding in adulthood

The Self

Changes in Self-Understanding in Adulthood
  • Self-Awareness
    • Awareness of strengths and weaknesses
    • Improves in young and middle adulthood
  • Possible Selves
    • Get fewer and more concrete with age
    • Some revise throughout adulthood
  • Life Review
    • Some in middle age, common in older adults
    • Evaluations of successes and failures
self esteem and self concept

The Self

Self-Esteem and Self-Concept
  • Self-esteem
    • Global evaluative dimension of the self
    • Same as self-worth or image
  • Self-concept
    • Domain-specific evaluations of the self
  • Distinct - not really interchangeable
issues with self esteem

The Self

Issues with Self-Esteem
  • Modest correlations link self-esteem and school performance; links vary between adult job performance and self-esteem
  • Self-esteem related to perceived physical appearance across life-span
  • Depression lowers high self-esteem
issues with self esteem14

The Self

Issues with Self-Esteem
  • Persons with high self-esteem
    • Increased happiness
    • Have greater initiative
    • Prone to both prosocial and antisocial actions
  • Undeserved high self-esteem
    • Narcissism: self-centered, self-concerned
    • Conceited
    • Lack of awareness linked to adjustment problems
self esteem in childhood and adolescence

The Self

Self-Esteem in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Accuracy of self-evaluations increases across the elementary school years
  • Majority of adolescents have positive self-image cross-culturally
  • Girls’ self-esteem is lower than boys’ by middle school years
self esteem in adulthood

The Self

Self-Esteem in Adulthood
  • Some researchers find drops in self-esteem in late adulthood; others don’t
  • Older adults with positive self-esteem
    • May not see losses as negatively
    • Decrease in knowledge-related goals
    • Increase in emotion-related goals
    • Compare themselves to other older adults
increasing self esteem

The Self

Increasing Self-Esteem
  • Identify causes of low self-esteem
  • Provide/seek emotional support and social approval
  • Develop self-confidence and initiative
  • Achieve
  • Develop coping skills
self regulation

The Self

Self-Regulation
  • Ability to control one’s behavior without having to rely on others for help
  • Includes self-generation and cognitive monitoring of thoughts
  • Self-regulation linked to higher achievement and satisfaction over the lifespan
self regulation in infancy and early childhood

The Self

Self-Regulation in Infancy and Early Childhood

12-18 months

Depend on caregivers for reminder signals about acceptable behaviors

Begin to comply with the caregiver’s expectations in the absence of monitoring

2-3 years

Learn to resist temptation and give themselves instructions that keep them focused

Preschool

self regulation in middle late childhood and adolescence

The Self

Self-Regulation in Middle/Late Childhood and Adolescence
  • Self-regulation increases from about 5 or 6 years up to 7 or 8 years of age
  • Across elementary school years, children increase beliefs that behavior is result of own effort and not luck
  • From 8 to 14 years of age, children increase perception of self-responsibility for failure
selective optimization with compensation

The Self

Selective Optimization with Compensation
  • Successful self-regulation in aging linked to
    • Selection: reduction in performance
    • Optimization: continue practice, use of technology
    • Compensation: concealment; offsetting or counterbalancing a deficiency
personal control

The Self

Personal Control
  • Primary control striving
    • One’s efforts to change external world to fit needs and desires
    • Attain personal goals, overcome obstacles
  • Secondary control striving
    • Targets one’s inner worlds: motivation, emotion, and mental representation
what is identity

Identity

What is Identity?

Self-portrait of many identities:

  • Vocational/career
  • Political
  • Religious
  • Relationship
  • Achievement/intellectual
  • Sexual
  • Cultural/ethnic
  • Interests
  • Personality
  • Physical
erikson s ideas on identity

Identity

Erikson’s Ideas on Identity
  • Identity versus identity confusion
    • Adolescents examine who they are, what they are about, and where they are going in life
  • Psychosocial moratorium
    • Gap between childhood security and adult autonomy, part of adolescent identity exploration
identity statuses

Identity

Identity Statuses
  • According to Marcia: Individuals go through periods of
    • Crisis: exploring alternatives during identity development
    • Commitment: individuals show personal investment in what they are going to do
identity statuses28

Identity

Identity Statuses

Marcia

  • Identify Diffusion: not experienced crisis or made commitments
  • Identity Foreclosure: made commitment but not experienced crisis (parents handed down commitments without adolescent making any exploration)
identity statuses29

Identity

Identity Statuses

Marcia

3. Identity Moratorium: in midst of crisis but commitment absent or only vaguely defined

4. Identity Achievement: experienced crisis and made a comitment

developmental changes in identity status

Identity

Developmental Changes in Identity Status
  • Young adolescents primarily in statuses of diffusion, foreclosure, or moratorium
  • Important for achieving positive identity
    • Confidence in parental support
    • Established sense of industry
    • Able to adopt self-reflective stance of future
early adolescence to adulthood

Identity

Early Adolescence to Adulthood
  • Most important changes occur ages 18 to 25
  • “MAMA” cycle: pattern for positive identity

moratorium •achievement •moratorium •achievement

  • Family influences on identity development
    • Parenting style effects identity development
early adolescence to adulthood33

Identity

Early Adolescence to Adulthood
  • Parenting styles
    • Democratic foster identity achievement
    • Autocratic foster identity foreclosure
    • Permissive foster identity diffusion
  • Search for balance is very important in adolescence
family influences

Ability to have and give point of view

Self-assertion

Individuality

Use of communication patterns to express own individuality

Separateness

Sensitivity to and respect for other views

Mutuality

Connectedness

Openness to other’s views

Permeability

Identity

Family Influences
ethnic identity

Identity

Ethnic Identity
  • Erikson very sensitive to role of culture
  • Ethnic minority groups struggle to blend into dominant culture and keep cultural identities
  • Ethnic identity linked to
    • HS achievement and lower aggression
    • Higher self-esteem
    • Predicting academic success
    • Identity formation affected by college attendance
trait theories and the big five factors of personality

Personality

Trait Theories and the Big Five Factors of Personality
  • Trait Theories
    • Personality is broad dispositions or traits that tend to produce characteristic responses
    • Big Five Factors of Personality theory
    • Led to advancements in assessing personality
    • Most believe personality is result of trait-situation interaction
trait theorists the five factor model
Understanding personality and relationships: Place a dot on each line to indicate your own traits of openness, conscientiousness, etc. Then do the same for an ideal romantic partner.Trait Theorists: The Five-Factor Model
views on adult development

Personality

Views On Adult Development
  • Stage-Crisis View
    • Levinson’s Seasons of a Man’s Life
    • Stage and transitions occur in life span
    • Tasks or crisis in each stage shape personality
    • Levinson’s midlife crisis in 40s: try to cope with gap between past and future
    • Vaillant’s Grant Study
levinson s seasons of life

Middle Adult Transition:

Age 40 to 45

Entry life structure for early adulthood: 22 to 28

Entry life structure for middle adulthood: 45 to 50

Age 30 transition: 28 to 33

Age 50 transition: 50 to 55

Culminating life structure for early adulthood: 33 to 40

Culminating life structure for middle adulthood: 55 to 60

Era of late adulthood:

60 to ?

Early Adult Transition:

Age 17 to 22

Late Adult Transition:

Age 60 to 65

Personality

Levinson’s Seasons of Life
the life events approach

Personality

The Life-Events Approach
  • Now contemporary life-events approach; alternative to the stage approach
  • How a life event influences individual’s development depends on:
    • The life event
    • Individual’s adaptation to the life event
    • Life-stage context
    • Sociohistorical context
generativity versus stagnation

Personality

Generativity versus Stagnation
  • Seventh stage in Erikson’s life-span theory
  • Generativity
    • Encompasses adults’ desire to leave legacy to next generation
    • Middle-aged adults develop in number of ways
  • Stagnation
    • Also self-absorption, develops when one senses s/he has done nothing for next generation
stability and change

Personality

Stability and Change
  • Many longitudinal studies have found evidence for both change and stability in personality in adulthood
    • Smith College Study
    • Costa and McCrae’s Baltimore Study
    • Berkley Longitudinal Studies
    • Helson’s Mills College Study
    • Vaillant’s studies
stability and change48

Personality

Stability and Change
  • Cumulative Personality Model
    • With time and age, people become more adept at interacting with environment in ways that promote stability
  • Overall, personality is affected by
    • Social contexts
    • New experiences
    • Sociohistorical changes
links between characteristics at age 50 and health and happiness at ages 75 80
Links Between Characteristics at Age 50 and Health and Happiness at Ages 75-80

Fig. 11.14