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Identity Formation

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kathryn grimmick

on 12 April 2016

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Transcript of Identity Formation

All in the Family
Dan Gorman, Kathryn Grimmick, Richard Hughto, Carissa Zuniga
exploring the relationship between
social experiences and interactions and
identity formation
Social Identity:
Peers & Romance
The family structure and its influence on identity formation
Perceived vs. Actual Identity
What is a peer?
"individuals who are about the same age or maturity level" (Santrock, p. 313, 2010)
time with antisocial peers=stronger predictor of substance abuse than parents, antisocial peer involvement linked with delinquency, deviant peer affiliation related to adolescent depression
companionship, intimacy, social skills, confidence, social cognition, decoding social cues, knowing how to act/react in certain situations, emotional regulation
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
Peers & Parents
Sociometric Status



observation learning
vicarious learning
Vygotsky: learn from others
The Internet
Social Networking Sites: “web sites where users can create a profile and connect that profile to others to form an explicit personal network” (Barker, p. 209, 2009)

Social Identity Gratifications: “opportunities to identify with ingroup members who look and at similarly to each other as well as to compare themselves to outgroup members” (Barker, p. 209, 2009)
Risk Taking in Adolescents
Example: Alcohol
“a form of social aggression that persists overtime… characterized by imbalance… can be direct and physical… or indirect and based on relationship or social aggression” (Pellegrini, p. 152, 2002)
Schools contributions to bullying:
* large, impersonal classes
* increasing stress on competition and comparison
* teachers' attitudes towards bullying
* lack of school community
* not a consistent group of individuals all day
* multiple teachers (with multiple responses to bullying)
* lack of student support
explore romantic relationships
date casually, often in groups
relationships tend to be short lived
Consolidate romantic bonds
more stable, enduring
Functions of Adolescent Relationships
enjoyment recreation status achievement socialization intimacy sexual exploration and experimentation
companionship identity formation mate selection
Adolescent Relationship
+s and -s
“emotion and cognition are closely intertwined in romantic relationships and play a major role in determining their functional significance. For example, experiences that conform to idealized romantic scripts heighten positive emotions, and those that diverge from them are common sources for feelings of frustration, disappointment…” (Collins, p. 12, 2003)
What can we do?
1) Whole school policy
2) Vary grouping
3) Classroom
4) Parents
5) Explicit teaching
6) Teacher attitudes and behaviors
Spiritual Identity
Ethnic Identity
Born Jewish in
Frankfurt, Germany in 1902. Converted to Christianity
during his marriage.
Why? Crisis of faith? To be married in the church?
To avoid persecution by the Nazis?
The Erikson Life-Stage Virtues

Basic trust vs. basic mistrust - This stage covers the period of infancy. 0-1 year of age. - Whether or not the baby develops basic trust or basic mistrust is not merely a matter of nurture. It is multi-faceted and has strong social components. It depends on the quality of the maternal relationship. The mother carries out and reflects their inner perceptions of trustworthiness, a sense of personal meaning, etc. on the child. If successful in this, the baby develops a sense of trust, which “forms the basis in the child for a sense of identity“.

Autonomy vs. Shame - Covers early childhood - Introduces the concept of autonomy vs. shame and doubt. During this stage the child is trying to master toilet training.

Purpose - Initiative vs. Guilt - Preschool / 3–6 years - Does the child have the ability to or do things on their own, such as dress him or herself? If "guilty" about making his or her own choices, the child will not function well. Erikson has a positive outlook on this stage, saying that most guilt is quickly compensated by a sense of accomplishment.

Competence - Industry vs. Inferiority - School-age / 6-11. Child comparing self worth to others (such as in a classroom environment). Child can recognize major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.

Fidelity - Identity vs. Role Confusion - Adolescent / 12 years till 20. Questioning of self. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life? Erikson believes, that if the parents allow the child to explore, they will conclude their own identity. However, if the parents continually push him/her to conform to their views, the teen will face identity confusion.

Intimacy vs. isolation - This is the first stage of adult development. This development usually happens during young adulthood, which is between the ages of 20 to 24. Dating, marriage, family and friendships are important during the stage in their life. By successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy. Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.

Generativity vs. stagnation is the second stage of adulthood and happens between the ages of 25-64. During this time people are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them. A person is either making progress in their career or treading lightly in their career and unsure if this is what they want to do for the rest of their working lives. Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose. If a person is not comfortable with the way their life is progressing, they're usually regretful about the decisions and feel a sense of uselessness.

Ego integrity vs. despair. This stage affects the age group of 65 and on. During this time you have reached the last chapter in your life and retirement is approaching or has already taken place. Many people, who have achieved what was important to them, look back on their lives and feel great accomplishment and a sense of integrity. Conversely, those who had a difficult time during middle adulthood may look back and feel a sense of despair.
Erick Erickson
Average age for religious conversions is between 12 - 18

Identity vs. Role Confusion Stage in Erickson's Phases

Religious identity - Personal exploration (e.g., asking questions, seeking answers) is an important aspect in the role of religiosity in identity formation. Individuals who have arrived at religious commitments through personal exploration are more likely to display successful identity outcomes than those who simply adopt the beliefs of their family or friends
Forclosure - Commitment with no Exploration

Diffusion - No Commitment or Exploration

Moratorium - Exploration with no Commitment

Achievement - Commitment after having Explored
Intrinsic Religiosity -
Religion is internalized.
Religion for oneself.

Extrinsic Religiosity -
More self serving.
Religious for public display.
Identity achievement vs. Forclosure and Moratorium?

Even if religious commitment does not always promote identity achievement,
it does seem to act as a protective factor against identity diffusion.

Achievement cycles are common
- MAMA -
Moratorium - Achievement - Moratorium - Achievement
Churches are unique in that there is no stratification based on age.

Cross-generational networks create opportunities to share knowledge
and offer support to the adolescent.
(Generativity vs. Stagnation)
Religious institutions and consequently religious people tend to hold more traditional views of gender roles. Religions that allow women to be in leadership give young girls more help on the road to identity achievement. Erikson wrote that an adolescent must select identity commitments based upon
“socially possible faces and voices”.
"Identity formation is an important developmental task in adolescence and emerging adulthood. It occurs within a framework of interpersonal experiences, many of which take place within the family context." - Erikson, 1968
John Bowlby
When faced with a situation that devalues one’s cultural group, person or group may have to engage in a process to negotiate the meaning of their identity.
Group esteem - esteem for the group as a whole.

African Americans have a high group esteem,
higher than European Americans.
Why is this so?
One hypothesis is a high level of social creativity.
(a) Individual Mobility—

If possible, the individual chooses to physically

leave the group and change group membership, or if group

membership is permanent, such as gender, race, or

ethnicity, then the individual chooses to psychologically leave

his or her group by disidentifying with the group.

(b) Social Creativity—

the group as a whole chooses to redefine the meaning of

their group membership by comparing themselves with the

majority group on a dimension on which they are superior.

(c) social Competition—

in which the group as a whole fights the current system to

actually change the hierarchy of group membership in society.
Influence on each other's identities:
People learn new behaviors by interacting with the sibling and observing and imitating his or her behavior (Bank & Kahn, 1976).
Adolescents and emerging adults try to distinguish themselves from one another by emphasizing their uniqueness.
Birth Order
Age Spacing
Gender Differences
(1) Unexamined Ethnic Identity— (Diffusion)

individuals have unexamined positive

or negative views of their ethnic group.

(2) Ethnic Identity Search (Moratorium)—

individuals have begun a search into

what it means to be a group member.

(3) Achieved Ethnic Identity—

individuals have explored their ethnic group membership

and are clear as to the meaning of ethnicity in their life and

generally have a high group esteem.
Another view for those in the minority

(a) Preencounter -
Believe that race does not matter and never give their racial group membership much thought—their group-esteem could be positive or negative, but their exploration is very low.

(b) Encounter -
The encounter was originally conceived of as the occurrence of a traumatic, racially prejudiced event that shakes a person from their original view so
that they are more receptive to new interpretations of their racial identity. The critical encounter can be initiated from many small and negative eye-opening incidents too.

(c) Immersion-Emersion
After experiencing the encounter, the person now decides to be “Black,” explores what it means to be “Black,” and fully immerses himself or herself into everything that is “Black.”

(d) Internalization -
Now confident and proud of their identity as a Black person and has a positive group-esteem.

(e) Internalization-Commitment -
Take their confidence in and commitment to their race one step further and work toward elevating the status of African Americans and eliminating racism in our society.
It is possible to stagnate. Not all people will reach internalization-commitment.

Brittian, A. S. (2012). Understanding African American adolescents' identity development: A relational developmental systems perspective. Journal Of Black Psychology, 38(2), 172-200. doi:10.1177/0095798411414570

French, S., Seidman, E., Allen, L., & Aber, J. (2006). The development of ethnic identity during adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 42(1), 1-10. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.42.1.1

Hill, P. L., & Burrow, A. L. (2012). Viewing purpose through an Eriksonian lens. Identity: An International Journal Of Theory And Research, 12(1), 74-91. doi:10.1080/15283488.2012.632394

Holcomb-McCoy, C. (2005). Ethnic identity development in early adolescence: Implications and recommendations for middle school counselors.Professional School Counseling, 9(2), 120-127.

Hunsberger, B., Pratt, M., & Pancer, S. (2001). Adolescent identity formation: Religious exploration and commitment. Identity: An International Journal Of Theory And Research, 1(4), 365-386. doi:10.1207/S1532706XID0104_04

Good M, Willoughby T. The identity formation experiences of church-attending rural adolescents. Journal Of Adolescent Research [serial online]. July 2007;22(4):387-412. Available from: PsycINFO, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 6, 2012
can we do?
Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space (Ainsworth, 1973; Bowlby, 1969).

Identity development requires a period of exploration. Ainsworth's work with infants suggests that exploration will not occur unless a secure home base from which one can further explore the external environment is established (Faber, et.al., 2003).

Secure attachments enable adolescents to face the challenges of interpersonal and intrapersonal exploration, which leads to development of stable ego identity.
Barker, V. (2009). Older Adolescents' Motivations for Social Network Site Use: The Influence of Gender, Group Identity, and Collective Self-Esteem. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(2), 209-213.

Collins, W. A. (2003). more than myth: the developmental significance of romantic relationships during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13(1), 1-24.

Pellegrini, A. D. (2002). Bullying, victimization, and sexual harassment during the transition to middle school. Educational Psychologist, 37(3), 151-163.

Santrock, J. W. (2010). Adolescence (7th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Steinberg, L. (2007). Risk Taking in Adolescence: New Perspectives From Brain and Behavioral Science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(2), 55-59.
Mary Ainsworth
James Marcia

Later-born siblings are more likely to identify with their earlier-born sibling's behavior than the reverse.
Later-born siblings see older sibling as competent, and therefore worthy for imitation (Bard & Rogers, 2003).
First-borns typically display more conscientiousness than later-born children and are more mature.
Influence of identification processes appears to become stronger with increased age difference between siblings (French, 1984).
The closer together the ages of siblings, the more likely they will feel the need to differentiate from one another.
Siblings separated by more years already differ enough that there is little need for differentiation.
Age Spacing
Birth Order
Self-Consciousness vs. Self-Image Stability
When does this happen?
What does it cause?
One of the first things children do is develop an idea of how others act towards them
Self Reflection
For this reason, we naturally take into account the perspective of others when trying to reflect
For this reason we develop the idea of a looking glass self
It is difficult for twins to develop independence and a positive identity.
Must emancipate themselves from both parents and their twin.
Leads to differences in identity, anxiety and ambition.
Twins many times suffer in self-esteem, separation-individuation and object relations.
The key to healthy twinship lies in self-identity and individuality.
How we begin to see ourselves
Labels begin to define us
See ourselves as others see us
Self-fulfilling prophecy
The "I" is impulsive, creative, spontaneous and unburdened by social rules
I vs. Me
The "me" is analytical, evaluative and very aware of rules
The Good and Bad of "I"
Source of creative genius and individuality
Source of criminal and immoral behavior
Unpredictability comes from "I" being in control
The "Me" has to be the social conscious and reflect on the "I" actions
I know what your thinking......

Can i hear more about Erikson and Marcia??????
Erikson's 5th stage of psychosocial development: Identity vs. Role Confusion
Erikson and Marcia
Marcia's Identity status: Achievement, Moratorium, Foreclosure and Diffusion
self concept is defined as having a strong identity that is separate from other people and developing it
Developing a strong self concept is important
Wong, T. L., Branje, S. T., VanderValk, I. E., Hawk, S. T., & Meeus, W. J. (2010). The role of siblings in identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Journal Of Adolescence, 33(5), 673-682. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.11.003
Faber, A. J., Edwards, A. E., Bauer, K. S., & Wetchler, J. L. (2003). Family structure: Its effects on adolescent attachment and identity formation. American Journal Of Family Therapy, 31(4), 243-255. doi:10.1080/01926180390201945

Benson, J. E., & Johnson, M. (2009). Adolescent family context and adult identity formation. Journal Of Family Issues, 30(9), 1265-1286. doi:10.1177/0192513X09332967

Zimmerman, C. (1996, August). The relationship between parental attachment, family functioning, and identity formation in late adolescents. Dissertation Abstracts International, 57

Åkerman, B., & Suurvee, E. (2003). The Cognitive and Identity Development of Twins at 16 Years of Age: A Follow-up Study of 32 Twin Pairs. Twin Research, 6(4), 328-333. doi:10.1375/136905203322296719
Dictate how family members interact.
Minuchin's Structural Family Theory Subsystems
Garrod, A., Smulyan, L., Powers, S., & Kilkenny, R. (2012). Adolescent Portraits: Identity, Relationships and Challenges. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Parental Coalition-
Parents work together to meet the needs of their child while exlcuding the child from marital issues.

Parent-Child Coalition-
When a parent enlists the support of a child against the other parent during moments of marital discord.

Both parents compete for loyalty of child.

Pseudo-coming together of parents to either attack a "bad" child or to protect a "sick" child.
Steinberg, L. (2011). Chapter 8. In Adolescence. (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Slavin, R.E. (2012). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice. (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson
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