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Research on adolescence

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1 Research on adolescence
Q11:  Examine psychological research into adolescence. Research on adolescence

2 Approach Introduction Body Conclusion
Research into adolescent identity Thesis: Body Erickson Marcia Rutter Conclusion

3 Erik Erikson Life as stages of development- adolescence as one aspect
Adolescence as a time of identity crisis Identity vs role confusion Challenges Intimacy- fear commitment since it may contribute to a loss of identity Time diffusion-disbelieve time will bring change while at the same time fear that it might Diffusion of Industry-inability to concentrate or great concentration in a single area Negative identity- scorn for role offered by family or society Psychosocial moratorium- suspension of activity during identity formation to ‘find oneself’ to resolve identity crisis

4 Evaluation of Erikson Did not conduct empirical research to support his ideas Theory based on non-rigorous observations of adolescence in therapy in the 40s and 50s (biased sample and questionable generalization) Contradictions of Erikson’s view of adolescence as time of constant negative turmoil Time of positive identity formation (Marsh, 1989) Most American teenagers are confident, happy and satisfied (Offer, 1981) Some ideas outdated- reflect 1950s America Female identity tied to type of man she marries Lifestyles different today

5 James Marcia Expanded on Erikson’s ideas and tried to test empirically
Focus on crisis and commitment Crisis- re-evaluation of previous choices and values After crisis- commitment to new set of values and ideology Used semi-structured interviews as a research method

6 Identity Status (Marcia, 1966)
Statuses are not stages, but depend on the amount of choices and commitments made Identity diffusion- no sense of choice and not yet made a commitment Identity foreclosure- willingness to commit to roles and values for the future; tend to conform to expectations of others Identity moratorium- examining choices, not yet made a commitment Identity achievement- gone through identity crisis and made a commitment to identity (roles and values)

7 Evaluation of Marcia Strengths Limitations
Meilman (1979)- identity achievers rose after 15 years old Mundane realism- evident in daily life that teenagers try out various identities Limitations Limited sample- while, middle-class Americans during the 1960s and 70s Cohort effects- Waterman & Waterman (1979) Findings linked to a particular age and culture Oversimplification Archer (1982)- added complexity- different stages of identity formation in different areas Cultural Relativity Condon (1988)-Studied the Inuit in the Canadian arctic who didn’t have time for identity formation and progressed to adulthood much earlier than American, middle-class sample

8 Limitation to theory of identity
Rutter (1976)-studied adolescents on the Isle of Wight (self-report) and found that only a minority showed signs of crisis or conlict O’Connel (1976)-interviews with married women suggested that identity develops over the lifespan Condon (1987)- studied Inuit of Canada and found they did not spend time questioning their identity (early adulthood) Lenroot (2007)- brain development differs between genders (MRI scans- women reach full brain development maturity by 21; men at 30)

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