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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Reading Notes.pdf

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Diane Glebe

READING NOTES Chapter 8 IDENTITY Identity as anAdolescent Issue • Cognitive Change and Identity Development ◦ The young person is able to think in systematic ways about hypothetical and future events ▪ Possible selves is the various identities an adolescent might imagine himself ▪ Future orientation is the extent to which an individual is able and inclined to think about the potential consequences of decisions and choices • Social Roles and Identity Development ◦ At this point, young people must make important choices about their careers and their commitments to other people ◦ Identity development is best understood as a series of interrelated developments – rather than one single development – that involve changes in the way we view ourselves in relation to others and in relation to the broader society in which we live ◦ Three approaches: ▪ Self-conceptions – the ideas that individuals have of themselves with regard to various traits and attributes ▪ Self-esteem or self-image – how positively or negatively they feel about themselves ▪ Sense of identity – the sense of who one is, where one has come from, and where one is going Changes in Self-Conceptions • Compared with children, who tend to describe themselves in simple, concrete terms, adolescents are more likely to employ complex, abstract and psychological self- characterizations ◦ Describe their behaviours and ideal self Changes in the Content and Structure of Self-Conceptions • Differentiation of the Self-Concept ◦ In answer to the question, “Who am I?” adolescents are more likely than children to link traits and attributes that describe themselves to specific situations, rather than using them as global characterizations ▪ e.g.)Apreadolescent might say, “I am nice” • An adolescent might say, “I am nice if I am in a good mood” ◦ Adolescents' self-descriptions take into account who is doing the describing ▪ “I am shy” vs. “People think I'm not at all shy” • Organization and Integration of the Self-Concept ◦ Achild might describe their traits and attributes in a disorganized list whereas an adolescent will organize and integrate aspects of their self-concept into a logical, coherent whole ◦ Adolescents who have more complex self-conceptions are less likely to be depressed ◦ An advantage is that the adolescent is now able to distinguish between the actual self, ideal self, and feared self • False Self Behaviour ◦ False-self behaviour – acting in a way that one knows is inauthentic – offers less often with parents than dates, but more often with parents than with close friends ◦ Whereas some adolescents engage in false-self behaviour because they are low in self-esteem, others experience a drop in self-esteem because they knowingly put on a false front Dimensions of Personality in Adolescence • Most researchers now approach the study of personality using the five-factor model ◦ the “big five” (OCEAN) ▪ Extraversion (how outgoing and energetic someone is) ▪ Agreeableness (how kind of sympathetic someone is) ▪ Conscientiousness (How responsible or organized) ▪ Neuroticism (How anxious or intense) ▪ Openness to experience (How curious and imaginative) ◦ Delinquents are more likely to score high in extraversion and low in agreeableness and conscientiousness ◦ Achievers are likely to score high in conscientiousness and openness Changes in Self-Esteem • One manifestation as a result from the “storm and stress” of adolescence involves problems in adolescents' self-esteem ◦ Research indicates that adolescents' feelings about themselves fluctuates from day to day Stability and Changes in Self-Esteem • In general, self-esteem is more stable between childhood and early adulthood • Changes in self perceptions are greater during early adolescence than during middle or late adolescence • Three aspects of adolescents' self-image: ◦ Self-esteem (how positively or negatively they feel about themselves) ◦ Self-consciousness (how much they worry about their self-image) ◦ Self-image stability (how much they feel that their self image changes from day to day) • Fluctuations in self-image during early adolescence are due to several interrelated factors: ◦ The egocentrism may make young adolescents painfully aware of others' reactions to their behaviour ◦ As they become more socially active, they begin to learn that people play games when they interact, and that is not is not always possible to tell what people are thinking ▪ This ambiguity may leave young adolescents unskilled at this sort of “impression management” - puzzled and uncomfortable about how they are really viewed by others ◦ Finally, because of the increased importance of peers, adolescents value their opinions • The Wrong Question? ◦ Adolescents with better family and peer relationships are more likely than their peers to maintain positive self-esteem or develop enhance self-esteem over time • Components of Self-Esteem ◦ In general, adolescents physical self-esteem – how they feel about their appearance – is the most important predictor of overall self-esteem, followed by self-esteem about relationships with peers ▪ Less important are academic ability, athletic ability or moral conduct Group Differences in Self-Esteem • Sex Differences ◦ Adolescent girls are more vulnerable to disturbances in self-image than any other group of youngsters ◦ Studies of Black girls do not find the same sort of self-esteem vulnerability as is found in studies of White girls ▪ In part because Black girls do not experience the same drop in body image during puberty ◦ Young adolescent girls may be caught in the pressure of doing well academically and doing well socially • Ethnic Differences ◦ Black girls have higher self-esteem than White girls, who in turn have higher self esteem than Hispanic,Asian or NativeAmerican – WHY? ▪ Despite their encounters with racism, Black teenagers benefit from support and positive feedback ▪ They tend to shift priorities over time so that they come to value those activities at which they excel ▪ The strong sense of ethnic identity serves to enhance overall self-esteem ◦ AsianAmerican adolescents have low self-esteem relative to their peers Antecedents and Consequences of High Self-Esteem • Studies find that self-esteem is enhanced by having the approval of others, especially peers and parents, and by succeeding in school • Adolescents who derive their self-esteem more from peers than parents and teachers are more likely to show behavioural problems and poorer academic achievement • Consequences of High Self-Esteem ◦ Adolescents with high self-esteem are more likely to experiment with alcohol ▪ Maybe because high-self esteem is associated with being in the more popular social crowds, where drinking is more common TheAdolescent Identity Crisis Erikson's Theoretical Framework • He viewed the developing person as moving through a series of eight psychosocial crises over the course of the lifespan • Erikson believed that the establishment of a coherent sense of identity – what he called identity crisis of identity versus identity diffusion – is the chief psychosocial crisis of adolescence ◦ According to Erikson, the normative crisis characteristic of the fifth stage of psychosocial development, predominant during adolescence Identity Versus Identity Diffusion • Prior to adolescence, the child's identity is like patches of fabric that have not yet been sewn together • The key to resolving identity versus identity diffusion lies in the adolescent's interactions with others ◦ By responding to the reactions of people who matter, the adolescent selects and chooses from among the many elements that could conceivably become a part of his or her adult identity ◦ They learn from others what they ought to keep doing and what they ought to stop doing • Developing an identity is a social as well as a mental process • The adolescents identity is the result of a mutual recognition between the young person and society: ◦ The adolescent forges an identity, but, at the same time, society identifies the adolescent The Social Context of Identity Development • The Psychosocial Moratorium ◦ According to Erikson, the complications inherent in identity development in modern society have created a need for psychosocial moratorium ▪ A“time out” during adolescence from the sorts of excessive responsibilities and obligations that might restrict the young p
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