Factors That Influence Identity Formation

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As a result, an individual’s exploration and commitment levels can classify them into different identity statuses of identity formation (Alberts, Mbalo & Ackermann, 2003). According to Marcia (1966), the four statuses are, namely, diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium and identity achievement. Diffusion indicates that an individual has not made a particular commitment to resolve identity issues and may not have explored alternatives, whilst foreclosure indicates that an individual has made a commitment without prior exploration and latches on, prematurely, to an identity with little thought (Meeus, Van De Schoot, Keijsers, Schwartz & Branje, 2010). Furthermore, according to Phillips and Pittman (2003), moratorium indicates individuals who are…show more content…
According to Sigelman and Rider (2015), an adolescent’s progress towards identity formation in various domains is a product of five factors: Cognitive development, personality, quality of relationship with parents, opportunities for exploration and cultural context. Firstly, cognitive development plays a role in identity formation, because adolescents who are able to think in abstract ways, actively seek new information, which makes them more likely than other adolescents to resolve identity issues (Berzonsky & Kuk, 2000; Waterman, 1992). Secondly, personality plays a role in identity formation by influencing an individual in terms of their openness to experience and conscientiousness, which influences their exploration and identity achievement (Sigelman & Rider, 2015). Thirdly, the relationship with parents plays an important role in terms of closeness and autonomy (Sigelman & Rider, 2015). As previously mentioned, Andrew’s father is too controlling, which has limited Andrew’s ability to make decisions based on his own beliefs. Lastly, opportunities for exploration and cultural context plays an important role in terms of exposure to diverse identity ideas and cultural influences (westernization vs traditional) on behaviour (Sigelman & Rider,…show more content…
An important aspect of identity development would developing an ethnic identity. An ethnic identity involves a nous of personal identification with a specific ethnic group, in terms of its values and traditions (Phinney, 2006). In terms of Andrew’s foreclosure status, it is likely that he would identify with his ethnic group, because of his parents (Father) and others close to him. The benefits of identifying positively with an ethnic identity would be that it increases self-esteem and prepares an individual for a culturally diverse society (Sigelman & Rider, 2015). This is evident in Andrew, who shows in various instances a fairly high self-esteem in his actions, which ultimately has become a central aspect of his identity (i.e. backs himself in

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