A research on personality development and identity formation in adolescents

In addition, the different contexts, methodologies, and measures used in the included studies leave uncertainties in a number of areas. First, the links of identity development and relationship with peers were analyzed in samples of participants of different age and contexts.

A research on personality development and identity formation in adolescents

This transition involves a cognitive reorganization in how youth think about themselves in relation to others as they gain physical, social, and psychological maturity.

However, societal and historical shifts have complicated the developmental markers for adolescence, causing the demarcation of adolescence to become difficult to define. Additionally, despite being associated with adolescence, identity development is an ongoing process that continues throughout adulthood where one forms an identity within a larger and transitional cultural context.

For example, changes in the body due to puberty, shifts in sociocultural context due to war or the civil rights movement, changes in individual role responsibility due to parenthood or divorce, and changes in cognitive processing due to aging support a life-span view of identity formation. Moreover, cultural factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation also affect the identity formation that take place on the way to and through adulthood.

Erikson is the seminal figure in the area of identity development, having formulated a compelling conceptualization of development across the life span. He was one of the first theorists to consider the development of personality as a lifelong process and identified eight developmental stages beginning at birth and extending throughout the life span.

The ability to negotiate conflicts successfully during each of the stages results in the development of psychological resources, which serve as the foundation for a fully integrated sense of self.

Although identity developmental tasks are encountered across the life span, identity development has been considered the primary psychosocial task of adolescence or, as characterized by Erikson, identity versus identity confusion.

Adolescence is a time when, according to Erikson, individuals begin to integrate their childhood experiences, inner drives, opportunities, abilities, and social values into a sense of who they are as individuals.

Within this framework, the central task of this stage is to develop a stable and authentic personal identity. Identity formation is stimulated by adolescents accelerating their psychological, physical, and social individuation from the family.

Through investment in peer groups and observations of role models, adolescents learn to develop a sense of self that can be valued and shared with others.

The process of establishing an identity is not, however, easy. Adolescents, faced with many important adult and life-changing responsibilities, can become confused about their role both personally and professionally and may become unable to resolve their identity conflicts.

If pervasive, these doubts may lead to some form of identity confusion. According to Erikson, a phenomenon that reduces identity confusion is called identity commitment. Commitment is a form of allegiance to values and ideologies.

Adolescents explore alternative viewpoints and select principles that best fit their moral standards, values, and ideals.

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Research has shown that being high on commitment makes for greater sense of stability, or adjustment. For example, research in vocational development confirms that commitment to career goals is associated with identity development. One criticism of this stage and most other stage models is that the terms are vague and difficult to operationalize, making the models difficult to measure empirically.

Another criticism is that the stage model does not account for individual or cross-cultural differences; thus, it may not be applicable across different sociocultural contexts.

A research on personality development and identity formation in adolescents

Additionally, the model does not account for the sometimes nonlinear or cyclical movement among the various stages, which has been found to occur. Status regression is supported in the developmental research as being part of the normative and continuous process of identity development.

Resolving these identity crises facilitates higher-order development, whereas not resolving them may lead to regression or becoming stuck in a particular status. Identity Diffusion This status classifies people who are not committed to a set of values, ideals, and so forth, and are not actively searching for an identity, which leads to an identity that is poorly defined and rather diffuse, as the name suggests.

These individuals may seem to drift aimlessly. Research has demonstrated that people who have fulfilled the exploration-commitment process tend to be more interpersonally competent and mature than those who are diffused.

Diffusion is considered to be the least advanced of the statuses followed by foreclosure, moratorium, and identity achievement.

A research on personality development and identity formation in adolescents

It is also generally considered that individuals will develop greater identity achievement with age and that relatively few in later adolescence will be diffused.

Moratorium This status is marked by individuals who are actively searching identity alternatives and have not yet committed to an identity. These individuals tend to be ambivalent about achieving an identity and may oscillate between rebellion and conformity.

Furthermore, these individuals struggle to find answers and explore various roles. Consequently, they may try different roles in a temporary and uncommitted fashion and have difficulty firmly deciding on a given set of beliefs, values, or aspirations.

Because these individuals are actively exploring new ways of being, they are on the path to identity achievement. However, because moratorium involves much ambiguity—particularly in cultures and societies that value decisiveness, commitment, and goal-directed behavior—these individuals tend to score high on measures of anxiety.

Foreclosure This is the status most commonly endorsed during early adolescence and typically declines with age. Foreclosed individuals have committed to an identity without having explored other options. These individuals tend not to be anxious and appear goal directed, yet tend to be inflexible and defensive.

They are strongly committed, though their commitments are not intrinsic. Rather, their sense of self is often based on the desires or values of family, peers, teachers, religious figures, or media personalities. Consequently, they may not progress to the identity-achieved status. Identity Achievement Individuals in this status have explored various alternative identities and have committed to an identity.

These individuals are thought to have successfully negotiated the psychosocial task of adolescence, negotiated the challenges of moratorium, and coped with identity crises.Adolescents with a mature identity typically show high levels of adjustment and a positive personality profile, live in warm families, and perform well at school.

There is little evidence for developmental order, however, and studies instead have mainly found covariation over time between identity and the other developmental processes. Identity formation is a dynamic process during adolescence.

Trajectories of identity formation were assessed longitudinally in early and middle adolescents, taking into account the personality underpinnings of this process. Feb 27,  · In sum, previous studies on identity status change indicate that identity formation in adolescence is either characterized by stability, or by progressive change.

Apart from a debate concerning the amount of change in identity formation, there is also disagreement on the timing of changes in identity formation in adolescence. Adolescents: Longitudinal Associations and Academic Progress adulthood is one of the best documented in research on personality trait development (Roberts et al.

). Despite However, research on personal identity formation has strongly evolved in recent years (Meeus ), as it is now. Identity Development, Personality, and Well-Being in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood the extent of support and guidelines for how this identity development should proceed (Cotˆ ´e, ).

Personality development is not only about changes in traits but also about changes in other layers of the self, such as the identity layer. Forming one's identity is thought to be the key developmental task of adolescence, but profound changes in personality traits also occur in this period.

Identity Development in Adolescence and Adulthood - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology During adolescence, we are much more self-conscious about our changing identities than at any other stage in our lives [3].
Identity Formation During Early Adolescence - Gerald R. Adams, Raymond Montemayor,