Chapter 12 Independent Questions
I. Theories of Social and Personality Development
A. Psychoanalytic Perspectives
1. (a) According to Erikson, what is an identity crisis – Ericson’s term for the 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; period during which adolescent is troubled by his lack of
(b) How do peer groups help adolescents with an identity crisis?
- adolescents’ tendency to identify with peer groups is a defense against the emotional turmoil
endangered by the identity crisis
- teens protect themselves against unpleasant emotions of identity crisis by merging their individual
identities with that of a group => forms base of security from which teen can move toward a unique
solution of the identity crisis
B. Marcia’s Theory of Identity Achievement
2. Marcia argued that adolescent identity formation consists of two key dimensions: a crisis and a
(a) crisis – period of decision-making when old values and old choices are re-examined; may occur as
commitment – outcome of the reevaluation; commitment to some specific role, value, goal, or
(b) Based on the two dimensions in 2a, four identity types emerge: Determine whether a crisis and
commitment exists in each of the four types (See Figure 12.1).
(i) Identity Achievement – crisis; commitment
(ii) Moratorium – crisis (ongoing)
(iii) Foreclosure – commitment (w/o going through crisis)
(iv) Identity Diffusion – none (has not gone through crisis; has not made a commitment)
II. Self-Concept and Personality
3. How does self-concept change from 10 years of age to 18 years of age? (See Figure 2.2)
- less physical characteristics
- reference to ideology, beliefs, enduring traits, personal philosophy, moral standards
- more differentiated; see themselves differently in each role: as student, with friends, with parents, in
- above self-concepts influence adolescent’s behavior
- strong self-concept important to development of good mental and physical health
B. Gender Role - See Lecture Templates - Ch. 8 (Gender Identity)
C. Self-Esteem - See Lecture Templates – Ch. 8 (Gender Identity)
D. Ethnic Identity
4. Summarize the key points and research findings in this section.
- over 70 ethnic identities in Canada
- minority teens (especially recent immigrant) must create two identities: individual identity and
ethnic identity - ethnic identity – sense of belonging to an ethnic group; commitment to group’s values and attitudes
- immigrant parents’ expectations and views differ from adolescents who have been exposed to
majority cultural values
- ethnic identity tends to strengthen with age and progresses through phases: younger children not
much interest in ethnic identity; younger person more aware of gulf between value and attitudes of
own culture and majority culture; period of exploration; adolescents internalize their ethnic identity
and commit to own ethnic group
-ethnic identity development not always smooth or complete
- adolescents with strong and favorable ethnic identities have higher levels of self-esteem and
optimism and best outcomes
- teens with bicultural identity feel positive about own group and have good relationships with other
- bicultural identity = personal identification and satisfaction with more than one culture
- once having lived in Canada for a decade, immigrant youth adopt patterns of lifestyle behaviors
similar to those of Canadian-born youth
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
i. Age and Moral Reasoning
5. (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
6. (a) Describe preconventional reasoning/morality (i.e., level 1 reasoning).
- child’s judgment based on sources of authority outside of self who are close by and physically
superior (usually parents)
- standards child uses for judgment are external rather than internal
- outcome or consequence of an action determines right or wrong of action
(b) Describe the first Stage of moral reasoning – the punishment and obedience orientation.
- child or teen relies on physical consequence of action to decide right or wrong
- if punished => behavior wrong; if not punished => behavior right
- obedience to adults because they are superior – bigger and stronger
(c) Describe the second Stage of moral reasoning – individualism, instrumental purpose, and
- child or teen obey rules when it’s in their immediate interest
- do things that are rewarded; avoid things that are punished
- if it brings pleasant results, then it’s good => naïve hedonism
iii. Conventional Reasoning
7. (a) Describe conventional reasoning/morality (i.e., level 2 reasoning)
- judgments based on rules or norms of a group to which person belongs
- judgment of external authorities internalized but not questioned or analyzed
(b) Describe the third Stage of moral reasoning – mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships
and interpersonal conformity.
- good boy/nice girl stage
- moral actions are those that live up to expectations of family or other significant group - “being good” becomes important for its own sake; good behavior is what pleases others
- value trust, loyalty, respect, gratitude, maintenance of mutual relationships
- if “didn’t mean to do it”, then wrongdoing is less severe than if done on purpose
(c) Describe the fourth Stage of moral reasoning – law-and-order orientation.
- law-and-order orientation
- moral actions defined by larger social groups or society as a whole
- one should fulfill duties one has agreed to and uphold laws, except in extreme cases
- morality = legality; legal = right, illegal = wrong
iv. Postconventional Reasoning
8. (a) Describe postconventional reasoning/morality (i.e., level 3 reasoning).
- judgments based on integration of individual rights and needs of society
- shift of authority: individual makes choices and judgments based on self-chosen principles or
principles of group
(b) Describe the fifth Stage of moral reasoning – social contract orientation.
- acting to achieve greatest good for greatest number
- awareness that most values are relative and law are changeable, although rules should be upheld
to preserve social order