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Identity Development in Adolescence

Identity Development in Adolescence

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Identity Development in Adolescence

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  1. Identity Development in Adolescence Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D. Department of Psychology The University of West Florida

  2. Identity: Key Constructs • Autonomy • A sense that the individual participates actively and with some degree of control in decision-making: • About self • In interactions with others • Patterns of family interactions inhibit or enhance this decision-making

  3. Identity: Key Constructs • Individuation: • As adolescents make decision and experience consequences they begin to define themselves as different from others • Adolescents begin to separate the affective element of an event and the intellectual analysis of that event

  4. Identity: Key Constructs • Individuation (cont’d) • Families impact this process • Allowing decision-making within boundaries supports the process of individuation • Openness of emotions within family supports this process • Supporting exploration within boundaries can lead to free but cautious explorations by the adolescent • Positive outcomes follow from a balance of independence and familial closeness

  5. Erikson’s Perspective on Identity Dev. • Fifth stage in Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development • Individual has likely acquired major tools of the culture • Emphasis shifts to establishing an identity separate from but related to family of origin

  6. Erikson’s Perspective on Identity Dev. • Explorations beyond the family system increase and provide a sampling of alternatives to that family system • Individuals who explore and internalize a set of values, beliefs, expectations, and norms will likely reach an identity achieved

  7. Marcia’s Identity Status Model • Major constructs: • Commitment: construction of a relatively stable set of values, beliefs, roles, norms, and expectations • Exploration: behaviorally or vicariously seeking out experiences typically beyond the family or origin

  8. Marcia’s Identity Status Model • Identity Diffused • Neither committed nor engaged in exploration; • May have some explorations but more of a “meandering rather than intentional exploration • Seem to be more of a carefree drifting than exploration.

  9. Marcia’s Identity Status Model • Identity Foreclosed— • Committed to an identity without significant exploration; • Focused on well defined goals • Behavior conforms to expectations of authority • Lack flexibility and can be defensive • Adopt values, beliefs, etc. of authority figures

  10. Marcia’s Identity Status Model • Identity Moratorium • Engaged in exploration of roles, values, etc. • Tend to move between conformity and rebellion • Tend to be more anxious than other statuses

  11. Marcia’s Identity Status Model • Identity achieved • Tend to have resolved questions about their own values, norms, etc. • More thoughtful and introspective • Can explain their explorations and choices • Perform well under stress • Tend to resolve moral dilemmas at high levels of moral reasoning

  12. Domains of Exploration • Gender Role/Sexual Identity • Ideological/Political/Theological • Career • Interpersonal (may be beyond gender role)

  13. Berzonsky’s Identity Styles • Based on how the individual searches for and processes information during explorations for identity

  14. Berzonsky’s Identity Styles • Informational style • ”actively seek out and evaluate self-relevant information”(2004,pg 213) • Tend to be “…reflective conscientious, open to experience, problem focused, and vigilant decision-makers.” (2004, pg 213) • Associated with achieved or moratorium identity status (ala Marcia)

  15. Berzonsky’s Identity Styles • Normative Style • “rely more automatically on the expectations and prescriptions of significant others” (pg. 213); • “conscientious and purposeful but highly structured and closed to information that might conflict with their beliefs and values” (pg. 213). • Associated with a foreclosed status (ala Marcia)

  16. Berzonsky’s Identity Styles • Diffuse/Avoidant Style • “procrastinate, delay, and attempt to avoid facing up to identity issues as long as possible” (pg. 213) • “…behavior determined by situational factors and hedonic cues” • “…emotion-focused coping, avoidant decisional strategies, cross-situational variability, other-directedness, and self-handicapping” (pg. 213) • Associated with uncommitted adolescents with diffuse status (ala Marcia)

  17. Berzonsky’s Identity Styles • Berzonsky (2004) Findings: • Adolescents reporting authoritative parenting styles in their families of origin were more likely “informational” in their identity searches; • Adolescents reporting permissive parenting styles in their families of origin were more likely “diffuse/avoidant” in their identity searches; • Adolescents reporting authoritarian parenting in their families of origin were more likely “normative” in their identity searches

  18. Grotevant’s Perspectives: • Individuality • Ability to express one’s own ideas • Ability to differentiate between self and others’ ideas • Connectedness • Willingness to hear others’ ideas • Respecting others’ [plausible] ideas

  19. Grotevant’s Perspectives: • Individuality • Self Assertion: • Awareness of one’s own perspectives and ideas • Responsibility for communicating one’s own ideas to others • Makes direct suggestions • Separateness: • Awareness of differences between one’s own ideas and ideas of others • Ability to state differences between one’s own ideas and ideas of others • Makes statements of disagreements

  20. Grotevant’s Perspectives: • Connectedness • Permeability • Openness and responsiveness to others’ views • Willing to reach agreements • Complying to requests for additional information • Mutuality • Sensitivity and respect for others and their views • Initiating compromise • Able to report feelings of others

  21. Findings from Grotevant’s Work • Adolescents’ expressions of individuality and connectedness were related to explorations and role taking

  22. Findings from Grotevant’s Work • Fathers with high connectedness (e.g. permiability) tended to have daughters who were high in mutuality and who engaged in explorations. • Mothers with high self assertion tended to have daughters who engaged in explorations • One conclusion that can be made is: Parents who display non-typical attributes tacitly encourage offspring to engage in a wide range of explorations.

  23. Minority Ethnic Identity Development • Cross’s Stages of Ethnic Minority Identity Development: • Pre-encounter: • Typically found among younger members of a minority group • Frequently are not aware of minority status • Activities, when members of minority and majority groups present are based on the majority traditions

  24. Minority Ethnic Identity Development • Encounter: • Initial experience of minority status (e.g. act of discrimination, hate crimes) • Individual recognizes difference and minority status

  25. Minority Ethnic Identity Development • Immersion • Individuals initiate educational experiences to learn more about their own ethnicity • Individuals tend to adopt traditions including • Language • Lifestyles • Clothing • Perspectives • Food • Etc.

  26. Minority Ethnic Identity Development • Internalization: • Sense of one’s ethnicity is internalized as one part of the individual • Individual tends to view others as individuals rather than as members of groups • Goes beyond an essentialist perspective and sees self and others as multidimensional