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Presentation on theme: "Copyright, edyoung, PhD, 3-1999 28 PART XVIII Section 4. TEEN YEARS: THE CRUCIBLE FOR CRISES AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN IDENTITY AND SELF CONCEPT."— Presentation transcript:


2 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Escalation of Insecurity when entering new phase of adolescent freedom of mobility and choices. Insecurity is transformed into paranoid suspicion, angry resentment, and invidious comparisons. They cluster is small groups of high similarity and pick on each other. Being away from parental protection there comes a fear of older, upper classmen and strangers. Fear when cornered turns into explosive rage. Frightened, vulnerable kids in a group convert to aggression. Physical punishment and abuse, feeling picked on at home, and suppression of hostility results in displacement of anger and resentment onto peers who are different or perceived as engaging in put downs or invidious comparisons. Desire to make someone else who is not intimidating suffer the same way child had to suffer. The initiation turnabout syndrome. Dormant, incorporated parental modeling of abusive, punitive attacks on behavior that deviates from family cultural norms re-surges from the unconscious spontaneously, welcome or not, when roles are reversed and the child has become a parent. Development of Social Cannibalism Over Time 1. Parent abusively punishes or picks on child for behavior that deviates from family cultural norms. 2. Child picks on smaller child. 3. Child picks on child who is different 4. Child grows up and picks on smaller child. 5. Child in early teens picks on similar other early teen for minor differences and vulnerabilities. 6. Child as late teen turns on age cohorts who are different. 7. Child becomes a parent and repeats physical punishment, abuse, picking on, suppressing hostile come backs, and attacking behavior that is different Understanding Social Cannibalism of the Early Teen Years and Its Affect of Identity Formation 4. Causes of Social Cannibalism T he Cycle of Aggression and Picking on People 4. 3.

3 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Identity And Social Comparison Anxiety Crises In Middle Adolescence: How Do I Deal With Shame And Humiliation? Can I Go? Can I Do It? Do It Know It? Do I Have It? Do I Belong? Can I do it? Everybody is watching. Everybody else is able to do it!! What will it look like if I cant do it? Do I belong? Am I accepted? What if Im rejected? What does that say about me? Am I ruined and an outsider for life? Who am I? Who defines who I am? How do they decide who I am? Ill bet he/she cant do it. He/she is not that good and will just look foolish. Youre gonna miss. Youre stupid and were gonna laugh you off the field. Nobody will ever want you on their team when they see how clumsy you are. We saw what you did. How repulsive. How gross. How nasty. We dont want anything to do with you and were gonna tell everyone!!! Oh my gosh! They saw what I did and now theyll tell everyone and Ill be ruined forever. Should we accept him/her? Is she/he as good as we are? No, youre too young. I dont have one of those so Im not good enough and cant go to the event. Can I go? Everybody else is getting to go! If you dont let me go, everybody is gong to think Im a baby.


5 copyright, edyoung, PhD, THATS THE GROUP WHERE I CAN BE MYSELF. THE ARE JUST LIKE ME! o r j c P o e titi n R e a l W o r l d The way the world appears as seen through the lens of the Implicit Others The world is just like my parents. I can not be the way I want to be with my parents and can not be the way I want to be in the adult world. They are the enemy. They are all so stuffy and negative. They see everything as being dangerous, bad, crazy, irresponsible, and stupid. But they are the ones who are stupid. But, what about those other teenagers over there, my peers? Maybe we can avoid that alien world and find a secret place where we can be ourselves. Now PEER PRESSURE OK.. What do they think of me? Lens of Implicit Other Peer Group or Gang Hey, lets do our own thing. Lets have a party and throw off their harness, be free, and have a blast! A Secondary Implicit Other System Begins To Develop In Adolescence And Tends To Be More Consistent With The Private Suppressed Self This Results In Transformation Of Identities In Opposition To Parents

6 copyright, edyoung, PhD, P A R E N T S PEERS, AS SECONDARY IMPLICIT OTHER SYSTEM, BEGIN TO BECOME THE LENS THROUGH WHICH PARENTS ARE NOW SEEN AND JUDGED. Im taking a step toward emancipation, toward being my own separate individual self, being emotionally independent, using and having confidence in my own judgment, venturing out into the world to establish my own place in the world. I am Shifting Alliance to my peers as one of the main ways to help me accomplish this. But, I still need my parents even while I am separating from them. THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEER RELATIONSHIPS AND THE CHILDS EVOLVING SELF SYSTEM AND IDENTITY This Transition To The Secondary Implicit Other System Furthers The Process Of Emotional Emancipation And Development Of A Sense Of Self Determination Of Their Identity

7 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Peer Comparisons Shape The Secondary Implicit Other Which In Turn Begins To Shape The Adolescents Identity

8 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Now each peer in the peer group begins to be judged by BOTH Implicit Other Systems. And, each parent begins to be judged by BOTH Implicit Other Systems. This becomes very confusing and very stressful. P A R E N T S Other implicit parentsparents Eventually The Secondary Implicit Other System Co-develops, Along With The Parents, The Adolescents More Enduring Self Image And Identity Peer secondary implicit other system Peers

9 copyright, edyoung, PhD, How to Understand the Nature of Roles and to Optimize the Power of the Positive Formal Social Role and Recognized Identity A. The Nature of Roles. –1. The meaning of a role: expectancies and experiences. –2. A role as a function of its complement. –3. Identities, styles, and being versus having a role. –4. Assumption, learning, and enactment of roles. B. Problems in the Treatment and Alteration of Roles. –1. Transitions from prior deviant roles in the home community to socially acceptable roles –2. Multiple, changing, and conflicting roles. –3. Mistaken inferences from role to person. –4. Types of roles, role relationships, and their dynamics. a. Roles that transform settings-situational specific identities. b. Roles in conflict with former setting-situational identities. c. The potential conflicts in the interaction between personalities and their former roles. d. the potential conflicts in the interaction between personalities and their current assigned or acquired roles. e. the potential conflicts in the interaction between an assigned or acquired role and other prior or current relationships f. roles that generate relationship conflicts between role inhabitants and their cohort groups. g. roles that generate relationship conflicts between role inhabitants and their cohort groups and cliques vis-à-vis outsiders. –5. The dynamics of role interactions from the point of view of role structures within the structure of settings. C. Therapeutic Use of Roles. –1. Social skill learning and role taking. –2. Personal limits and boundaries in relation to role rigidity. –3. Rank, office, roles, identities, and sub-roles and the detachable nature of their functions, tasks and role behaviors. –4. Roles constraining and channeling individual life-teleological processes. –5. Memory as organized by roles and role functions. –6. Problems in altercasting [seeking people to fill complementary roles] in the home, with peers, in intimate relations, at work and in the community.

10 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Informal Role Assumption in Childhood and Adolescence and Their Effects on Identity and Behavior Changes. The developing child is assigned informal roles first by parents and then by peers. Roles are identified by role behaviors. As the role develops, family members crystallize expectations for role appropriate behavior. Eventually family members develop a consensus concerning expected behavior. Finally, terms are applied that match the consensus and these terms identify sets of expectations and identity is born. Informal roles in families complement each other and sustain each other. Family members shape shape roles and then use roles to meet and need in the family system. This process can often be very constricting and destructive. Role appropriate behaviors are acquired unconsciously but become deeply ingrained and later in life are difficult to shed or alter. These early identities often follow people all of their lives, even when, many years later, there is not a single remnant of the early role appropriate behaviors. Informal roles operate in systems. If one person with an assigned informal role interacts with one or more peers, the tendency is to elicit a primary complementary informal role from one other peer and secondary complementary informal roles from other available peers. Peers learn to do this with each other in the same way it was done to them in the family. However, within peer groups there is never the perfect match of roles as there is in the family. Therefore, a new shaping process takes place and everyone in the peer group has to accommodate to greater or lessor degrees to one another, thus expanding their informal role repertoire. In the teens years, teens tend to pair off in short term relationships with people who have the closest matching complementary informal roles. Each in a pair tries to shape the other to fit the needed complementary role. Imperfections in role behaviors and in matches tend to make these sweetheart dyads stormy and short-lived. Teens in sweetheart dyads often revolt from the imposed, complementary informal role. Peers may also revolt against their group, but much less frequently since it is easier to diffuse non- complementary behaviors among a group than with a single individual. Peer groups, therefore, become a refuge from dysfunctional, failing sweetheart dyads and family systems.

11 copyright, edyoung, PhD, PUBERTY Dynamics of Identity Considered Independently From Structured Settings, Situations, Roles, or Relationships During the Transition Through Puberty As the child passes over into adolescence, as a result of puberty, a new and powerful set of inner factors begin to assert their influence in opposition to the familiar and socially recognized identity. The sexual impulses that arise are unfamiliar and intense. Typically there are no guidelines that specifically and directly address this emerging force of nature. Society has two opposite ways of dealing with sexual desires and feelings. –First, in almost all social settings sexual behavior is completely inhibited and verbal references concerning sex are absent from public communications. –Second, public communications are often briefly punctuated by sexual innuendoes and stifled laughter. Further, there is a wide range of types of entertainment that deliberately expresses sexuality in varying degrees of explicitness from subtle but undisguised jokes to displays of nudity and sex acts. These opposite trends in society leave the youths sexual desires and feelings piqued yet suppressed. The suppressed, intense, sexual feelings find an outlet in fantasies and clandestine sex acts. This suppressed, inner sexual life, or clandestine sex, pits the inner self concept in opposition against their public identity and results in extreme private suffering and confusion and a feeling of being a hypocrite. This feeling of being a hypocrite exacerbates the youths resentment of, alienation from, and cynicism toward society can result in rebellion or super-idealism.

12 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Dealing With Labeling And Identity Stigmata At every stage of life, individuals can be negatively labeled by peers, those who are above or below on some scale, outsiders, persons of the opposite gender. Negative labels are usually publicly announced. Negative labels usually serve the purpose of raising the esteem of the labeler above that of the individual labeled and possibly above the labeled individuals group. To avoid the loss of status that having a negatively labeled person in the group, a group may shun the labeled person. Negative labels, therefore, can hold a power to undo a labeled persons identity and their status of belonging to their group and the protection and benefits of their group. When this kind of negative labeling has this kind of devastating effect, it changes from a mere label to a stigma which can, in some cases, ruin a persons entire life. For this reason, stigmata are a matter of serious concern to the authorities who are guardians of the health of the society as a whole.

13 copyright, edyoung, PhD, The Dynamics of Formal Roles in Relation to Changes in Identity and Personal Maturation A Positive Model Societies create institutions designed to shape the developing children and adolescents toward socially valuable behaviors and skills. –These institutions have structures within which formal role systems select publicly acknowledged behavioral criteria to be used in selecting people for the role and behavioral expectations to be performed while inhabiting the role. –Role inhabitants are selected for formal roles based to a large extent on the values of the dominant social class and/or ethic group present in each institution. –Children and adolescents move through a stratified system of formal roles. Sometimes there are visible emblems or signs or being in a role. –Accommodating to the behavioral expectations of the formal role usually results in some form of formal recognition. –Role performance usually results in modification of the identities of the role inhabitants. –Informal roles may lead to identities which become like invisible, unchanging garments in which the real person is incarcerated, frozen over time because they are passed on from stage to stage and maintained by consensual reassignment of identity from stage to stage, regardless of whether the persons actual attributes have changed. –With stratified formal roles, identities are usually expected to change as the person moves up and develops increasing maturity and overcomes deficiencies and personal problems. Such stratified role systems can prevent immutable imprisonment in an identity. –With a widely diversified set of formal roles in which everyone in the group can participate in some way, it is possible to avoid stigmatizing people who do not occupy roles as inferior or outsiders. The transitional period of puberty requires special types of formal roles. Crises during the puberty period can result in identity stigmata that follow the youth for life or at least for the rest of their life in the institution. Providing special programs and formal roles systems within which youth can be taught inter-gender social skills and channel sexual impulses through civilizing positive role expectations can prevent youth from becoming perpetrators or victims of sexual or gender trauma. When institutions provide of adult parent surrogates as maturity coaches, they become neutral third parties the youth can safely relate to without feeling they are betraying their natural need for independence and still keep a sense of security from the support of a positive adult. These maturity coaches aid youth in acquiring the skills required for performance of their formal social roles and they ease the process of emancipation from parents and the development of emotional independence, self reliance, and responsibility as well as reducing the need for destructive rebellion from parents and authority figures. Since families and peers so often unconsciously assign informal identities, the combination of maturity coaches and formal roles makes it possible to replace negative identities and behaviors and to supplant negative parental and peer implicit others, thus overcoming possible life-long handicaps from the influence of negative implicit others.

14 copyright, edyoung, PhD, The Dynamics of Formal Roles in Relation to Changes in Identity and Personal Maturation A Negative Model With an exclusive set of formal roles, the problems youth bring to the group, such as those listed below are perpetuated or exacerbated. The grading system, and informal and formal role systems of public schools and juvenile correctional institutions tend to perpetuate or exacerbate such problems. When the problems show up, they are then blamed on the personality of the youth rather than the structure of the system: –immaturity; – neuroses; –underdeveloped social skills; –stigmatized socio-economic class or ethnic identity; – invidious comparisons and disordered self esteem; –cliques and social cannibalism. Institutions that have a exclusive or restricted formal role system exhibit the following characteristics: –lack of access to roles or a limited number and variety of roles –limited provision of types of roles –lack of stratified role ladders –lack of an inclusive system of rotational roles –basing inclusion or exclusion on social biases rather than objective criteria for entry into roles –lack of visible means of identifying ones role position –lack of objective criteria for recognition of growth and achievement –use of prestige, power, status or influence to gain access to formal roles These factors that usually result in the following psychologically harmful consequences: –enforced inequality –enforced inferior identities –learning social insensitivity –social cannibalism –social ostracism –learning discrimination –learning manipulation

15 copyright, edyoung, PhD, Practice In Positive Formal Roles Facilitates Maturation And Acquisition Of A New, Positive Identity A structure of formal pro-social roles with role specific behaviors results in replacement of negative behaviors with positive and develops self esteem, emotional security, a positive view of the world, and a wide range of positive, effective, social skills for success and ultimately a changed in identity. Behaviors Expected of New Formal Social Role: learning rules of conversation learning rules of discussion in groups planning decision making goal setting negotiating learning self discipline and time management problem solving studying-learning working cooperating playing for fun participating in organized recreation and sports learning sportsmanship and dealing with winning and losing competing resolving conflicts mediation expressing feelings and humor with sensitivity dealing with others feelings dealing with others inappropriate behavior dealing with differences in beliefs, values, opinions helping supervising others evaluating self and others dealing with problems in giving and receiving credit dealing with selection and promotion decisions dealing with giving and receiving awards and rewards Formal pro-social roles have a positive impact on ones behavior and relations in social and work settings. Social and work groups improve. Social and work groups accept a new identity. Success with the new identity leads to promotion in formal social roles. Acquisition of new identity through assuming new formal roles Role specific behaviors

16 copyright, edyoung, PhD, SUMMARY OF TEEN YEARS: THE CRUCIBLE FOR CRISES AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN IDENTITY AND SELF CONCEPT The transition into adolescence brings out invidious comparisons and social cannibalism which is one of the reasons for the emergence.of hostile cliques and gangs. During this period adolescents face developmental tasks necessary for the next stage which is entry into adulthood. These tasks generate anxiety over performance and social comparison and can be damaging to self esteem and result in enduring negative identities. Peers become a secondary implicit other system which has the power, for good or bad, to influence identity. Peer secondary implicit other system tend to ally with the youths suppressed, private self and result in the development of identities in opposition to that which was assigned by parents. Peers facilitate the process of emancipation from dependence on parents, but left to itself, this process can result in negative identities. Puberty thrusts upon the adolescent drives that create anxiety and insecurity in the absence of a structure of programs and formal roles to educate and ease the transition in a positive way. Due to the enormous lack of preparation for adolescence and uncertainty about expected behaviors, youths tend to make mistakes which the tendency toward invidious comparisons and social cannibalism turns into enduring identity stigmata. A positive system of formal roles results in all youths passing through this period acquiring positive identities. A negative system of formal role or the absence of or inadequacy or formal roles and the presence of unregulated and negative informal roles results in the acquisition of enduring negative identities. The practice of behaviors required by formal roles, along with the coaching of positive adult maturity coaches facilitates maturation and the acquisition of enduring positive identities.


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