Chapter 12 Independent Questions
I. Theories of Social and Personality Development
A. Psychoanalytic Perspectives
1. (a) According to Erikson, what is an identity crisis?
- Erikson defines an identity crisis as a psychological state of emotional turmoil that arises when an
adolescent’s sense of self becomes “unglued” so that a new more mature sense of self can be achieved
(b) How do peer groups help adolescents with an identity crisis?
- an adolescents’ tendency to identify with peer groups is a defense against the emotional turmoil
produced by the identity crisis; he claimed that teens protect themselves against the unpleasant emotions
of the identity crisis by merging their individuals identities with that of a group the teenage group
thus forms a base of security from which the young person can move toward a unique solution of
B. Marcia’s Theory of Identity Achievement
2. Marcia argued that adolescent identity formation consists of two key dimensions: a crisis and a commitment.
(a) Define crisis and commitment.
- an crisis is a period of decision-making when old values and old choices are re-examined
- a commitment is the outcome of the re-evaluation to some specific role, value, goal or ideology
(b) Based on the two dimensions in 2a, four identity types emerge: (i) Identity Achievement,
(ii) Foreclosure, (iii) Moratorium, and (iv) Identity Diffusion. Determine whether a crisis and commitment
exists in each of the four types (See Figure 12.1).
i) Identity achievement – the person has been through a crisis and has reached a commitment to
ideological, occupational, or other goals
ii) Foreclosure – the person has made a commitment without having gone through a crisis
iii) Moratorium – a crisis is in progress but no commitment has yet been made
iv) Identity diffusion – the young person is not in the midst of a crisis (although there may have been
one in the past) and has not made a commitment
II. Self-Concept and Personality
A. Self-Understanding – optional reading (not on exams)
B. Gender Role - See Lecture Templates - Ch. 8 (Gender Identity)
C. Self-Esteem - See Lecture Templates – Ch. 8 (Gender Identity)
D. Ethnic Identity
3. Summarize the key points and research findings in this section.
- There are more than 70 distinct ethnic identities in Canada, varying along linguistic, national, regional,
racial and religious groupings
- Minority teens, especially recent immigrant youth, face the task of creating two identities in adolescence
they must develop a sense of individual identity that they believe sets them apart from the others and
also develop an ethnic identity that includes self-identification as a member of their specific group,
commitment to that group and its values and attitudes, and some attitudes about the group to which they
- Ethnic identity tends to strengthen with age and progresses through phases
the first phase is typical of younger children who haven’t paid attention to or haven’t shown much interest in their ethnic identity
next, the young person is exposed to the media or experiences racism or inequality in society, she may
start to become acutely aware of the gulf that lies between the values and attitudes that exist within the
larger culture and her own culture
then, a period of exploration of what it means to be part of an ethnic group; adolescents may internalize
their ethnic identity by developing a secure sense of membership and pride in and commitment to their
own ethnic group
- ethnic identity development does not always progress smoothly or completely, and people may cycle
through the phases at different times throughout their lives
- adolescents who form a combined identity based on strong identification and participation in both their
own ethnic culture and the larger culture have the highest self-esteem and the best outcomes
- teens who possess a bicultural identity not only feel more positive about their own ethnic group, but
they have more favourable relationships with people from other ethnic groups as well
Development in the Real World (p. 345) – optional reading (not on exams)
E. Locus of Control and Other Traits – optional reading (not on exams)
III. Moral Development
A. Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Reasoning
- The idea of why something is in the world? Why is it right? Why is it wrong?
- There are 3 levels
- There are 6 stages:
- Stage 1: why is it right/wrong? they’re going to say that if something is punished, it is wrong, if it isn’t punished,
that is right (that is where they are at in their moral reasoning), which is why as a parent why you want to provide
consequences for things that are problematic
- Stage 2 (self): why is it right/wrong? they are focused on maximizing pleasure; all about the self and whether it
has detrimental effects on the self/not
- Stage 3 (other; could be parents “you want to be a good girl for your parents”): why is it right/wrong? now
focused on pleasing others; “you don’t want so and so not to like you”
- The notion that you’re doing it to please someone/something else (you want them to think that you are good)
- Stage 4: why is it right/wrong? focus on the law (aka moral compass)
- Stage 5: self-chosen moral principles; big jump that most people don’t get to (sometime education predicts this)-
- You realize that you should be the moral compass, otherwise, you are stuck obeying and using other people’s moral
compass to inform yourself
- Stage 6: why is it right/wrong? when you realize that there is conflict between some of your moral principles
- Forced to rank hierarchically your principles (ex. you are on level 5, you believe that everyone has the right to
pursuit of happiness, etc. When you get to level 6, you realize it is hard to have these blanket moral principles
because there are conflicts because it is hard to sort out)
- Each level has 2 stages
i. Age and Moral Reasoning
4. (a) Very few children reason beyond stage 1 and 2.
(b) Most adolescents reason at stage 2 and 3.
(c) Most adults reason at stage 3 and 4.
ii. Preconventional Reasoning
5. (a) Describe preconventional reasoning (i.e., level 1 reasoning).
- the child’s judgments are based on sources of authority who are close by and physically superior – usually
- the descriptions of others are largely external at this level so the standards the child uses to judge rightness or wrongness are external rather than internal the outcome or consequence of an action determines the
rightness or wrongness of the action
(b) Describe the first Stage of moral reasoning – the punishment and obedience orientation.
- the child relies on the physical consequences of some action to decide whether it is right or wrong
if he is punished, then the behaviour was wrong; if he is not punished, then it was right
he is obedient to adults because they are bigger and stronger
(c) Describe the second Stage of moral reasoning – individualism, instrumental purpose, and exchange.
- the child or adolescent operates on the principle that you should do things that are rewarded
and avoid things that are punished
if it feels good, or brings pleasant results, then it is good
iii. Conventional Reasoning
6. (a) Describe conventional reasoning (i.e., level 2 reasoning)
- rules or norms of a group to which the individual belongs becomes the basis of moral judgments,
whether that group is the family, the peer group, a church, or the nation
(b) Describe the third Stage of moral reasoning – mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships and
- regardless of age, individuals who reason at this stage believe that good behaviour is what pleases other
people they value trust, loyalty, respect, gratitude, and maintenance of mutual relationships
- individuals make judgments based on intentions as well as on outward behaviour
(c) Describe the fourth Stage of moral reasoning – law-and-order orientation.
- this stage incorporates the norms of a larger reference group into moral judgments
- people reasoning at this stage focus on doing their duty, respecting authority, and following
rules and laws
- there is less emphasis on what is pleasing to particular people and more on adhering to a
complex set of regulations (the regulations themselves are not questions, and morality and
legality are assumed to be equivalent
something that is legal is right, whereas something that is illegal is wrong
iv. Postconventional Reasoning
7. (a) Describe postconventional reasoning (i.e.