A discussion on teenagers issue of identity formation

They find themselves disoriented, scared and alone.

A discussion on teenagers issue of identity formation

Theories[ edit ] Many theories of development have aspects of identity formation included in them. Two theories stand out in regards to this topic[ why? Erik Erikson 's theory of psychosocial development specifically the "identity versus role confusion" stage of his theory and James Marcia 's identity status theory.

Erikson[ edit ] Erikson's belief is that throughout each person's lifetime, they experience different crises or conflicts. Each of the conflicts arises at a certain point in life and must be successfully resolved for progression to the next of the eight stages.

The particular stage relevant to identity formation takes place during adolescence, called "Identity versus Role Confusion. They face the complexities of determining one's own identity.

Erikson said this crisis is resolved with identity achievement, the point at which an individual has extensively considered various goals and values, accepting some and rejecting others, and understands who they are as a unique person.

If the "Identity versus Role Confusion" crisis is not solved, an adolescent will face confusion about future plans, particularly their roles in adulthood. Failure to form one's own identity leads to failure to form a shared identity with others, which could lead to instability in many areas as an adult.


The identity formation stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development is a crucial stage in life. The identity statuses are used to describe and pinpoint the progression of an adolescent's identity formation process. In James Marcia's theory, the operational definition of identity is whether an individual has explored various alternatives and made firm commitments to: The four identity statuses in James Marcia's theory are: This is the opposite of identity achievement.

The individual has not yet resolved their identity crisis, failing to commit to any goals or values and establish future life direction.

In adolescents, this stage is characterized by disorganized thinking, procrastination, and avoidance of issues and action. This occurs when teenagers accept traditional values and cultural norms, rather than determining their own values.

A discussion on teenagers issue of identity formation

In other words, the person conforms to an identity without exploration as to what really suits them best. For instance, teenagers might follow the values and roles of their parents or cultural norms.

Self-Identity and Social Identity

They might also foreclose on a negative identity, the direct opposite of their parent's values or cultural norms. This postpones identity achievement by providing temporary shelter.

This status provides opportunities for exploration, either in breadth or in depth. Examples of moratoria common in American society include college or the military. This status is attained when the person has solved the identity issues by making commitments to goals, beliefs and values after extensive exploration of different areas.

Self-concept[ edit ] Self-concept or self-identity is the sum of a being's knowledge and understanding of their self. The self-concept is different from self-consciousnesswhich is an awareness of one's self.

A discussion on teenagers issue of identity formation

Components of the self-concept include physical, psychological, and social attributes, which can be influenced by the individual's attitudes, habits, beliefs and ideas. These components and attributes can not be condensed to the general concepts of self-image and self-esteem [ citation needed ] as different types of identity coming together in one person.

These types of identity can be broken down into the following. Cultural identity Cultural identity is the feeling of identity of a group or culture, or of an individual as far as they are influenced by their belonging to a group or culture.

Cultural identity is similar to and has overlaps with, but is not synonymous with, identity politics. There are modern questions of culture that are transferred into questions of identity. Historical culture also influences individual identity, and as with modern cultural identity, individuals may pick and choose aspects of cultural identity, while rejecting or disowning other associated ideas.At Facing History, we begin each journey of investigation with a study of identity, focusing on how both individual and national identities are formed, as well as how these identities influence behavior and decision-making.

This month we are excited to launch a new online resource that grapples with issues of both personal and community identity. Despite the fact that identity development occurs throughout one's lifetime, adolescence is the first time that individuals begin to think about how our identity may affect our lives [2].

During adolescence, we are much more self-conscious about our changing identities than at any other stage in our lives [3]. Adolescent Identity. Defining Identity Identity is a new way of thinking about oneself that emerges during adolescence.

Identity involves a sense of self-unity, accompanied by a feeling that the self has continuity over time.

Stewarding the Identity Formation of Teenagers

To help you understand your child’s adolescence, Les Parrott, Ph.D., a professor of psychology, offers the five most common ways in which teens demonstrate their struggles with identity: Through.

Identity Development, Personality, and Well-Being in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood the extent of support and guidelines for how this identity development should proceed (Cotˆ ´e, ). The destructuring of Western societies, and the result-ing expectations for young people to find their own way.

identity formation and the role of parenting in strengthening their youth’s identity formation. This afternoon, we will learn about and practice clinical interventions to help adopted adolescents strengthen identity development.

ACT for Youth - Adolescence - Adolescent Identity Development