Identity Development

Identity Development Introduction What Is Identity? Identity Is Like a fingerprint, a unique Identifier of who a person is. People create their own identities throughout their entire life. The development one goes through highly influences the person they become. They may strive to form morals, standards or views of the world. It can become a lifelong task in finding who one is, but the search for identity begins roughly during adolescence. Erik Erikson developed a theory based on psychosocial behaviors. He believed that a person’s identity arises from development beginning from infancy.

The stages are all interdependent; success in each builds the needed foundation to be able to be successful In the next one. Erosion’s theory consisted of five stages up to the age of 18 years old and three stages Into adulthood. The stages are as followed: Trust vs… Mistrust (infancy), Autonomy vs… Shame and doubt (toddler), Initiative vs… Guilt (elementary years), Identity vs… Role confusion (adolescent years), Intimacy vs… Isolation (young adult), generatively vs… Stagnation (middle-age adult) and Integrity vs… Despair (older adult) (Brogan, 2009).

Individuals begin to explore their Identities and rye to configure who they are as a person during stage Identity vs… Role confusion and Intimacy vs… Isolation. Intimacy vs… Role confusion ‘OFF to 18. Erikson believed the adolescent years were crucial for development of identity (Brogan, 2009). During this stage a child goes into the transition to young adulthood, with it facing new challenges and responsibilities. Many will wonder who they are as a person or how they will stand out or fit in; teens will try different societal roles to attempt to find who they are..

They will begin to contemplate on which beliefs to pep, what standards to hold, what societal or gender roles and sexual orientation to adhere. Girls usually expected to obtain feminine stereotypes and boys are expected to obtain male stereotypes (Farman & Shaffer, 2009). Many of the roles they may take on can be highly influenced by peers and family. Some of those roles could be an athlete, a book worm, or a thespian; they may Join many clubs in or out of school to find what their interests may be. Erikson suggests that two characteristics are involved within this stage of development: the sexual and the occupational (Brogan, 009).

Teens at this phase will begin to gain a sense of self about who they want to be and what goals they want to achieve in life. They as well begin to go through puberty and as their body changes so does the image of themselves. If a boy begins to gain muscle mass or go through a growth spurt; he may want to Join a sport. He may begin to associate with Socks and begin to see himself as one. If they do not develop as quickly as others they may feel out castes and may be teased by others in his age group.

This could affect on whether he sees himself in a positive or a negative ay. Social relationships can have considerable effects on health through behavioral and psychological ways (Monnet & Number’s, 2010 p. L-13) Social relationships can have a long term or short term affects, they may affect mental and health behavior (Monnet & Number’s, 2010 p. 1-13). Many studies show that people with low levels of interaction with others are more likely to die sooner than those with better involvement (Monnet & Number’s, 2010 p. L-13).

According to Bergman and Browsers(1963) studies showed that the higher involvement was with others; such as rinds or relatives or some sort of religious organization , that there was a higher outcome of positive health behaviors over a ten year period (Monnet & Number’s, 2010 p. 1-13). Interactions with others can inspire responsibility and concern for other people (Monnet & Number’s, 2010 p. 1-13). Colonization may have effects on mental health according to some studies; it helps reduce stress by giving a sense of meaning in life thus causing healthy behaviors (Monnet & Number’s, 2010 p. -13). Unfortunately during this stage not all will be as successful in finding themselves. Based on the lack of outcomes and personal conflicts that arise throughout this age, the finding of identity can be delayed. In which can cause a sense of confusion and they will begin to tell themselves that they do not know what they want to be when they grow up. Some of those conflicts can arise when a teenager takes on a typical adult task at an early age. It could that they may have to take on a Job in order to help support their family or they may begin to start a family of their own.

Although teen birth rates have declined in over the past few years, still one in every ten new others is a teen mom ( Van Pelt, 2010,p. 24). This usual adult task can hinder a teen from fully exploring their identity and several are forced to grow up quickly and take care of their family financially and emotionally. Only about 50% of teen mother finish high school with a diploma compared to 90% of girls who do without becoming emotional and physical needs (Van Pelt, 2010, p. 24). Teen mothers are often discriminated and criticized by their peers and family.

They must constantly deal with issues that can negatively impact them (Van Pelt, 2010, p. 24). James Marcia bevies four identity statuses that expanded on Erosion’s theories. During identity diffusion a person will lean towards adulthood without any goals or know where they could be going in life (Belles, 2010 p. 302-303). Parents can also have an influence in the constructing of identity and teens may experience identity foreclosure: which is defined by when they adopt a life path that is prearranged by an authority figure (Belles, 2010 p. 302-303).

For example a teen might think ‘my parents want me to attend the same university as they did so I will follow the same path’. There are other adolescents that will go through moratorium and will be actively engaged in a search for their identities, and attempt every possible option. Few teens will already have a set goal for what they want to do in their future. Those who do will gain identity achievement: an identity status in which one is determined in doing what they truly are passionate for. Not all will have the equal opportunity to gain an identity with ease. Others have additional challenges to overcome in order to gain self identity.

Ethnic Identity Many adolescents search for who they are and who they want to grow up to be. Those who are minorities, bi-racial or more than one race seek out for their ethnic characteristic. Ethnic identity is often described as ones sense of belonging to a certain ethnic category (Belles, 2010 p. 302-303). Ethnic identity is different form one’s personal identity but both coincide with one another. There are four major ways in which one can achieve successful ethnic identity which is through: ethnic awareness, self identification, ethnic attitudes and ethnic behaviors (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 47-1 54). One must learn the aspects of their ethnic culture, language, and beliefs. Adolescents may also pass through three stages as they move forward into adulthood; unexamined ethnic identity, identity search and achieved ethnic identity behaviors (Wakefield & Huddle,2005 p. 147-1 54). Some studies suggest that what causes that transition from an unexamined ethnic identity is from the experience of racism, prejudice or discrimination (Wakefield & Huddle,2005 p. 147-1 54).

Other studies indicate that as adolescents mature socially and cognitively they become more aware of ethnic issue through their own race and want to then better understand them (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 147-1 54). Adolescents with an achieved ethnic status have thorough knowledge of their ethnic heritage, as well as the meaning of membership within that ethnic group and a commitment to the role that it may play in their lives (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 147-1 54).

Self reports show that simply belonging to an ethnic minority group does not mean that it causes higher or lower levels of self esteem. It is the sense of belonging to something that helps influence high self esteem Some studies show that racism and discrimination lower self esteem, causing depression and increased behavioral problem (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 147-1 54). Even being worried about possible discrimination by security at the mall or by receiving poor service at a store can heighten depressive symptoms (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 147-1 54).

Fortunately adolescents with a good sense of ethnic identity seem to help with coping against racism and discrimination (Wakefield violent behaviors and they have reported to have fewer symptoms of anxiety. An unexamined ethnic identity may create negative social stereotypes and create negative views about their own racial group (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 147-1 54). Latin and biracial girls who had a less positive view on their ethnic identity were at further risk for eating disorders; implying that they may have internalized beauty stereotypes that are inconsistent with their own physical appearance (Wakefield & Huddle, 2005 p. 47-1 54). Let is common for teens to interact and form friendships with someone outside of their race, In spite of this, racial boundaries arise when peers react to them being in a interracial relationship. Consequentially they may begin to self segregate according to race or ethnicity when it came to dating or attaining new friendships. Intimacy vs… Isolation With that in mind teens begin to transition into a different stage of identity development during their twenties and into the early forties; this stage is called intimacy vs… Isolation.

It is defined as the time when one shifts from being taken care of onto taking care of oneself and learning what it means to be an adult. Intimacy vs… Isolation is Erosion’s first adult stage involving the connection with a partner in a mutual loving relationship. The successful quality of friendships and romantic relationships help attain identity achievement. Most emerging adults are involved in arming intimate relations while establishing a secure identity. Friendships tend to satisfy social needs and a feeling of worth. While romantic relationships satisfy intimacy and provide emotional support.

Romantic relationships may affect one’s sense of self; those who have positive experiences my think of themselves as attractive partners where those who have had bad experiences may have little confidence in themselves ( Farman & Shaffer. , 2000,p 4-7). Friendships and romantic relations may affect one’s self esteem, this is usually reflected through ones experiences in relationships (Farman & Shaffer. 2000, p 4-7). If one was in an abusive relationship one could think if they may have lost self respect or they may begin to feel as if they no longer have self control over themselves ( Farman & Shaffer. 2000,p 4-7). Erikson thought that love within adolescents could be ones attempt in seeing if the depicted image of themselves is accepted by others and by then adjusting who they are if they felt it was needed ( Farman & Shaffer. , 2000,p 4-7). At times romantic relationship can have their downside and may hinder the development of one’s identity. In particular with parenthood: which is a potential outcome with being in a romantic relationship, it is thought to have unfavorable effects on an adolescent search for identity because of the responsibilities it comes with (Farman & Shaffer. 2000, p 4-7). Teen birth rates have steadily declined over the past few years; the rates in the United States are still 9 times higher than those in other developed countries Peers and friends influence ten’s attitudes and behaviors; as they tend reinforce or punish different gender related behaviors or roles ( Farman & Shaffer. , 2000,p 4-7).. As well as teens are likely to act in way in which they think might make them more attractive to the opposite sex (Farman & Shaffer. , 2000, p 4-7).

Theorist describe this stage as a time when the major task is to form intimate bonds with others which to the capacity to form stable friendships and changed over time, as differences in hopes, values and patterns of developed have changed over the course of years. The transition into adulthood is now taking a longer time then it use to. Emerging adults are spending more time in college and take longer in finding their identity (boundless, 2008). In the sass’s the median age or when young adults would marry were between the ages of 21-23, in 2009 studies showed that the age for marriage was raised from 26-28(boundless,2008).

The standard milestones that define becoming an adult are: completing university, leaving home, marriage, children and becoming financially stable. Although those are the desired milestones in which make an adult, are those who still feel grown up without having achieved those particular achievements. A twenty something year old may have a significant other but no Job, or a child but not married, or be a student living with parent and still feel as adults . There are some that may experience a quarter life crisis (CLC) which can happen around ages 21 -29.

This tends to occur when young adult feel as if they are not good enough or think that everyone around is doing better than they are. These emotions and insecurities typically take place when emerging adults enter “the real world” (boundless ,2008). Emerging adults tend to experience close relationships differently based upon their sex. College men indicate that shared activities are an important part of male friendships whereas women find emotional support and intimacy more significant. There are three efferent types of adult attachment styles: preoccupied/ambivalent and avoiding / dismissive and secure attachment .

Preoccupied/ambivalent is a insecure attachment in which one is excessively clingy and needy towards their partner. One typically falls quickly and deeply in love but because of their insecurities they can suddenly be rejected or feel unfulfilled. Avoiding/dismissive attachment occurs when one is reluctant to engage with another intimately and emotionally; they tend to seek independence and avoid getting too close to others. The last is secure attachment which is the ideal love relationship. Each gives his or her partner room to be different and yet are able to commit and love one another.

Woman who have experienced avoiding attachment relationships were less satisfied and anxious than men who have experienced the same. Emerging adults who have explored their identity further would have more quality romantic relationships because they have a deeper sense that they are and ideas of possible desired qualities of a future partner. Summary Furthermore the identity of a person is constructed by development beginning from infancy. It helps adolescents and emerging adults find who they are emotional, virtually, politically and physically.

Successful identity achievement aides one attaining morals, religious values , political views , prepare for a future career, take on a social and gender roles as well as help one have better friendships and romantic relationships. Erik Erosion’s theory of development consists of five stages up to the age of 18 years old and three stages into adulthood. The main stages in which one to explore self identity are: identity vs… Role confusion and intimacy vs… Isolation. This usually begins around early adolescence and into emerging adulthood. In identity vs… Ole confusion teens will take on many different roles in search of their identity.