As you have read in the text, teenagers are on a journey to discover a sense of “self,” an identity that is separate from their family. They may begin adolescence with increased turmoil within the core family and an increased focus on the values of peers, but by the end of adolescence, the concept of self is more stable and comprehensive. How does this progression occur? The focus of this Discussion Board is on the process that teens undergo when developing a sense of identity.
- Define and discuss Erikson’s stage of Intimacy vs. Isolation, and then discuss what does the research show regarding whether parents or peers have more influence on a teenagers’ search for a sense of “self?” Be sure to answer the question by providing information cited from your text and other academic sources.
- How do the influences of culture and geography — where and how people live, socioeconomic status (SES), race, family dynamics — act as a contextual factor in identity development?
Student #1 Response:
Erikson’s stage of Intimacy vs. Isolation is the sixth stage in his theory of psychosocial development. It is the stage where one is starting to question if they will be loved, will they find others to form close and loving relationships or will they remain alone. To pass through to this stage one has built off the past stages and will bring that information to aid in the next stage. Adolescents have just adjusted or passed through the stage of Identity vs. Confusion. They have been exploring who they are and how they fit into society. Middle to late adolescents will be concerned with the views and expectations of others, especially peers, and in a lot of cases parents and teachers. (Bukatko, 2008, p. 537). According to Erikson, the development of a healthy identity and personality comes from building and successfully navigating the stages before the current, but the adolescent stage (Identity vs. Confusion) will allow someone to start to unify who they are separately from others and finding a sense of direction in their life. According to research from many studies, the frequency of conflict with parents is greatest in early adolescences and declines as the adolescent gets older. (Bukatko, 2008) Peers do not necessarily have a stronger influence on the adolescent, it is just that the peer has started to become the stronger social factor taking over where the parent once was the main influence. They still play a role in the developing identity by providing reassurance and support while the adolescent tests the various roles.
Culture and geography act as a factor in identity development. It has been shown that adolescence that feel a sense of belonging to their cultural group have a better understanding of others. It is not very common in adolescents of European American descent, but in other groups such as Chinese or Mexican, the adolescent will identify with the ethnicity or country of origin. This wanes as the generational line is extended. “Research during the past decade shows that social class or socioeconomic status (SES) is related to satisfaction and stability in romantic unions, the quality of parent-child relationships, and a range of developmental outcomes for adults and children.”( Conger, Conger, & Martin, 2010).
Bukatko, D. (2008). Child and adolescent development. A chronological approach. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin
Conger, R. D., Conger, K. J., & Martin, M. J. (2010). Socioeconomic Status, Family Processes, and Individual Development. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 72(3), 685–704. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00725.x
Student 2 Response:
Unit 7: Adolescence (12-18 Years) – Discussion
Hello professor and classmates,
Erickson’s Stage 6 is Young Adulthood
Erikson’s stage of Intimacy vs Isolation: Intimacy is very positive for the teenager as they must develop intimacy with others, (to be intimate with someone does not mean you have to be sexually active), true intimacy requires commitment and openness to another person sex or no sex involvement. Even though sexuality can make a person seem as though there is intimacy and commitment there, it does not mean that there is any commitment, (Isolation is when a person or teenager may be underdeveloped and they fear a committed relationship. They could also feel isolated by being hart in a relationship that they thought that they could trust and yet got hurt deeply by that special person. A person who feels isolation has lost their self-esteem and their own identity of who they are, also loss of their self-confidence, (Erik Erikson’s, 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development).
It seems that the research shows that peers have more influence on teenager’s than parent’s do. When the teen start attending middle school they start to develop much deeper relationships with each other than in the past. They may develop romantic relationships as well as form cliques, a group of certain people who all share and agree on the same way of doing things, dressing and acting. When teenagers are shifting between these different emotions and relationships with other peers and parent. The psychologist has two explanations for reason the reasons that teens and parents have to make adjustments to. The name of these two categories are internalizing problems and externalizing problems. The internalizing process involves the person feeling guilty, not feeling like they can express outward what they are feeling to anyone. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and sadness. The person just will bury all the issues that they are dealing with and the feeling just continue to pile up. Eventually the person may need to seek psychological help, or some medications to help. This can happen to both the teen and the parent. The second process is a term called externalizing the problems that the persons are dealing with. In this process the teen or parent will show outward directional-behavior. It will usually show up or be initiated by anger. The teen or parents anger could come out in angry actions such as banging things against something, throwing something, temper tantrums, and yelling. Both are negative ways to handle a situation of emotions, but none the less they are a reality. As far as the teen or parent acting out the teen is trying to figure out what and where their self is, (Silk, Steinberg, &Morris, 2003). The teen will usually follow what they have been taught by their parents, or follow the crowed that they feel accepted in. They eventually will find it their self, one way or another. This could require professional help or the teen will eventually find there comfort zone with their peers and know where the feel they belong in their world.
The way that socioeconomic influences of culture and geography of where people live, how race, and family dynamics as to how people live, will have an influence on and will act as a contextual factor in identity and development of our teenagers and parents. According to our book teenagers will respond and act a lot quicker due to the change in their culture because the will want to try to find a way to fit in as quickly as they possible and can to find their place in this whole new life change environment.
The teens have a greater chance at fitting in because it is much easier for them to control relationship and cognation. Family dynamics will fall into place as the rest of the family settles into their new environment, (Bukalko Dauntal, Ebook)
Bukalko Danuta, Child and Adolescent Development: A Chronological Approach, EBook
Erikson’s Stage 6web