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Adolescent Identity and Moral Development

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Rene Coleman

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of Adolescent Identity and Moral Development

Identity & Moral Development
Many people never go beyond stage 4 in their moral development. Their moral thinking remains rigid.
Erickson's Theory of the Identity Crisis
Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of
Moral Development
Some adolescents experience changes to their moral thinking along with the cognitive and physical changes.
Stage 1: consider an act right or wrong depending on whether or not it elicits punishment.
Stage 2: positive or negative consequences for themselves
Stage 3: judge an action on whether or not it is socially approved.
Stage 4: sanctioned by an established authority.
Stage 5: is a law fair or just
Stage 6: concerned with making fair and just decisions.
For those who move beyond stage 4 usually do so during their adolescence and young adulthood.
A person in stage 5 may ignore a law in order to save a human life.
A person in stage 6 develops absolute ethical principles, such as the Golden Rule, that they have worked through for themselves.
Reaching levels of higher moral thinking involves the ability to see a situation from another person's viewpoint.
Marcia's View of the Identity Crisis
Social Learning View
Identity Crisis - a time of inner conflict during which they worry intensely about their identities.
Several factors contribute to the onset of this crisis, including the psychological changes and cognitive development.
Adolescents begin to see the future as a reality, not just a game. They know that they have to confront the almost infinite and often conflicting possibilities and choices that lie ahead.
Face crisis in identity formation versus identity confusion
The task of an adolescent is to become a unique individual with a valued sense of self in society
Need to organize their needs, abilities, talents, interests, background, culture, peer demands, etc., to find ways to express themselves through an identity
1. Identity moratorium adolescents - seriously considering the issues but have not made a commitment on any of the important matters facing them
2. Identity foreclosure adolescents - have made a firm commitment about issues based not on their own choice but on the suggestion of others
3. Identity confused or diffused adolescents - have not yet given any serious thought to making any decisions and have not clear sense of identity
4. Identity achievement adolescents - considered many possible identities and have freely committed themselves to occupations and other important life matters.
A.C. Peterson - argues that crisis is not a normal state of affairs for adolescents. When crisis does occur it is because of external circumstances rather than biological changes.
Albert Bandura - Human development is one continuous process. At all times individuals develop by interacting with others.
Margaret Mead - also stressed the importance of the social environment in adolescent identity formation. Adolescents are not expected to act any differently than they did as children or will be expected to act as adults.
1. Using a T-chart list each theorist and their theories of adolescent development.
- Erickson, Peterson, Bandura, Mead, Marcia
2. What factors may help adolescents in their search for an identity? How might adolescents discover occupations, religions, or political orientations that are right for them?
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