Impact of Culture, Ethnicity & Gender on Identity Development

Different youths will have different identity development depending on where they come from. There are youths living in abject poverty today and worse enough they engage in drug and alcohol abuse. It is also very important to note that the crises that male adolescents face are different from those which females’ adolescents undergo.

Many scholars believe that the identity stages of Erickson have a reversed effect for the opposite sex since intimacy come first before identity (Santrock, 1998). Whereas females strive for relationships and emotional bonds men strive for autonomy and achievement (Santrock, 1998).

Achievement of Autonomy and Attachment
Adolescents attain autonomy and gain control over their behavior through relevant reactions to adolescent’s desire for control. It is believed that if adolescents have secure attachments to their parents then they will also have high chances of effective social competence and well-being; moreover this manifests itself through self-esteem, emotional adjustment and physical health (Santrock, 1998).
Therefore, families that subject their children to rejection do a lot of harm to their identity development. It is also important that parents avail themselves to their adolescent children to strength their bonds with them.
In most cases, parents complain that their children begin being noncompliant at their adolescent stage. This is the time when adolescents resist their parents’ instructions and standards (Santrock, 1998).  It is actually said that conflict with parents heightens at the age when the children become adolescents (Santrock, 1998).
A greater part of such conflicts take place in the day-to-day events of family life although it does not involve serious conflicts posed by drugs or delinquency. It is also believed that these conflicts have a positive implication on the development of the adolescent from being dependent to becoming self-reliant (Santrock, 1998).
In order for parents to facilitate a competent development of their adolescent sons and daughters they should establish in them a deep sense of warmth and mutual respect and also show interest in their lives (Santrock, 1998).
They should also take into consideration their cognitive and socioemotional development. Parents should have democratic and constructive ways of dealing with crisis.
Re-Evaluation of Self Portrait
Earlier long this study provided an analysis of the boy who underwent a lot of resentment due to pressures he got from his parents and teachers as well. This study believes that up to this point the reader can now say that, indeed, the boy was justified in his actions.
It can be said that it was a violation of rights since the boy was striving for self identity and fulfillment as required in adolescent stage. It is therefore very unfair for an adolescent to be subjected to situations that hinder him to move towards this end.
Looking at what adolescent stage really is the boy must have gone through serious crisis, specifically, it must have been role confusion kind of a crisis. This can be argued from Erickson’s socioemotional stages which he articulates very well. In fact, the case of the boy serves as an empirical justification to the theoretical aspect of this study, as in, all that has been reviewed is well supported by the situation of this boy.
Looking at his parents and especially how they handled him it is evident that they contributed to his role confusion. Their instructions and stiff standards did the boy no good but harm. As can be seen, they had a responsibility to affirm his identity development at all costs. It is never too late; they can still make amends so that the boy can get to his next stage of life with resolved conflict.
It is no doubt that this study has taken into account every aspect of adolescence that would leave the reader with quality information needed. However, it still believes that there is a lot to be studied in the future. It can be seen that adolescence stage is the most critical stage of life due to its crises here and there.
It has illustrated an empirical investigation of a boy who underwent serious socioemotional issues that did no good to his identity development. The worse of it is that his parents worsened his crave for self identity.
From the self-portrait this study identified five socioemotional issues namely: anger, frustration, low self-esteem, inferiority and antipathy. This study has also defined adolescence stage as the period when a person develops physically and psychologically from the onset of puberty to maturity. Different theories have bee analyzed especially that of Erickson and his psycho-social development stages.
This study has also indicated that the primary unit charged with facilitation of adolescence identity development is none else other than the family. In actual fact, families have a big role to play. How this study hopes that it lands on every parents’ desk so that they might read some good staff in it.
American Association of University Women. (1991). Shortchanging girls, shortchanging
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Covey, S. (2002). First Things First: To live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. New
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Dale, M. (2000). Body and self: An exploration of Adolescent development. New York:
Jason Aronson.
Erikson, E. (2009). Childhood and society. New York: Norton, Revised Edition
Huitt, W. (1999). Educational Psychology. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University
Santrock, (1998). Child Development. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Teodoro, J. The Impact of Family on Identity Development. Journal of Psychology, vol.
Woolfolk & McCune-Nicolich. (1984). Educational psychology for teachers. (2nd Ed.).

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