Childhood Identity Development

778 Words4 Pages
Learning about the human self is one of the primary tasks of social cognitive development and distinguishing the self from the environment begins early in infancy. The self consists of self awareness, self esteem and identity. Identity is made up of many different aspects which make a person who they are such as religion, personality, relationships and interests. From an early age to adolescence, we have self concepts about our identity. Harter (1999) argues that from ages 3 to 4, children tend to describe physical characteristics such as ‘I can run very fast’. From the ages 8 to 11, children tend to make comparisons to others and describe themselves in terms of personality such as ‘I am very funny’. Adolescents tend to refer to psychological…show more content…
However Erikson (1968) argues adolescence is thought to be a time of identity crisis. From childhood to adolescence, children are becoming more independent and want to fit in to society. They will therefore re examine their identity and try to figure out who they are. Failing to do this, can lead to role confusion and to an identity…show more content…
Identity achievement is where the individual has experienced a crisis and has so made a clear commitment to their identity after re evaluation. They are open to feedback and so have an informational identity processing style. Foreclosure is where the individual knows who they are but a crisis has not been experienced and so they have chosen their commitment without exploring alternatives. The individual conforms to others expectations and is quite defensive and so has a normative identity processing style. Moratorium is where the individual is experiencing an identity crisis and is encouraged by society to think about who they are and, so like identity achievement, has an informational identity processing style. Identity diffusion is where the individual avoids identity issues and their choices are determined by who they socialise with. They are concerned with what others think and have a diffuse avoidant identity processing style. Developing a sense of identity in adolescence is not a clear cut pathway, it can involve a mix of identity types. Identity can change during adolescence through individual differences in coping with life experiences and how adolescents deal with commitments and negative feedback. Dumas et al (2012) argues that those who have a committed identity are less susceptible to peer pressure and so are less likely to take part in risky behaviours. This

More about Childhood Identity Development

Open Document