FRHD 1010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: James Marcia, Identity Formation, Peer Pressure
SchoolUniversity of Guelph
DepartmentFamily Relations and Human Development
Course CodeFRHD 1010
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Human Development – Chapter 12: Adolescence: Social and Emotional Development
Did you know:
D1 Canadian adolescent males are as concerned about occupational choices as Canadian adolescent
> Though females remain more likely to integrate their occupational and family plans, studies
show an equal concern for occupational choices.
D2 The idea of adolescents being in a constant state of rebellion against their parents is a stereotype that
is no longer true.
> Parents and adolescents are usually quite similar in their values and beliefs regarding social,
political, religious and economic issues.
D3 Parents should not necessarily fear peer pressure.
> Parents and peers are usually complementary rather than competing influences.
D4 Teen sexual activity has been declining in Canada since the early 1990s.
> Despite social misperceptions, the self-reported incidence of teen sexual activity is gradually
D5 Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadian adolescents.
> Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death among Canadian adolescents
L01: Discuss the formation of identity in adolescence
Development of Identity: Who Am I?
Erikson and Identity Development
•Identity vs. identity diffusion
oPrimary task to develop ego identity: a sense of who they are and what they stand for
oPsychological moratorium: a time-out period when adolescents experiment with different
roles, values, beliefs, and relationships.
oIdentity crisis: a turning point in development during which one examines one’s values
and makes decisions about life roles
•James Marcia (1991) – four identity statuses: exploration involves active questioning and
searching and commitment is a stable investment in one’s goals, values and beliefs
oIdentity diffusion: an identity status that characterizes those who have no commitments
and who are not in the process of exploring alternatives
oForeclosure status: an identity status that characterizes those who have made
commitments without considering alternatives
oMoratorium: an identity status that characterizes those who are actively exploring
alternatives in an attempt to form an identity
oIdentity achievement: an identity status that characterizes those who have explored
alternatives and have developed commitments.
Table 12.1 The Four Identity Statuses of James Marcia
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Yes Identity Achievement
•Most developed in terms of identity
•Has experienced a period of exploration
•Has developed commitments
•Has a sense of personal well-being,
high self-esteem and self-acceptance
•Sets goals and works toward achieving
•Has commitments without considering
•Commitments based on identification with
parents, teachers or other authority figures
•Often authoritarian and inflexible
•Actively exploring alternatives
•Attempting to make choices with regard
to occupation, ideological beliefs, and
•Often anxious and intense
•Ambivalent feelings toward parents and
•Least developed in terms of identity
•Not trying to form commitments
•May be carefree and uninvolved or
unhappy and lonely
•May be angry, alienated, rebellious
Ethnicity and Development of Identity
•Development of self-identity is key task for all adolescents
•More complex for adolescents in ethnic minorities – two sets of cultural values, often experience
prejudice and discrimination
•Ethnic Identity: a sense of belonging to an ethnic group
oStage One: Unexamined ethnic identity – the first stage of ethnic identity development,
similar to the diffusion or foreclosure identity statuses
oStage Two: Ethnic identity search: the second stage of identity development, similar to
the moratorium identity status
oStage Three: Achieved ethnic identity: the final stage of ethnic identity development,
similar to the identity achievement status
Sex and Development of Identity
•Erikson believed that sex differences affected the development of identity (1968, 1975) –
assuming relationships were more important to a women’s development of identity; occupational
and ideological matters more important to men; women – roles as wife and mother
•Now – equal concern about occupational choices; sex difference may still persist as women
assume primary responsibility for child rearing
Development of the Self-Concept
•As children approach adolescence, they begin to incorporate psychological characteristics and
social relationships into their self-descriptions
•Self-concept more differentiated – add more categories to self-description
•Social roles enter self-descriptions
•Different roles with different people (anxious and angry with parents, fun and talkative with
friends) – peaking at age 14 and then decline
•Advanced formal-operational skills allow this integration
•Self-esteem declines as child moves from middle childhood to about age 12 or 13
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