Identity Crises

Decent Essays
As part of the process of establishing an identity an individual will experience several identity crises (Marcia, 1980). James Marcia (1980) reported that these crises contribute to the development of a solid, defined identity – a term which he alludes to as “identity achievement.” There are a number of personality characteristics that tend to fluctuate depending upon the identity status that an individual occupies. The acquisition, or reduction, of these personality traits can be seen as an indicator of an individual’s ability to overcome and successfully resolve identity crises. The first of these personality characteristics is anxiety (Marcia, 1980). Teenagers occupying the “identity achievement” status display lower levels of anxiety and are…show more content…
Teenagers without a defined personality are “the most endorsing of authoritarian values” (Marcia, 1980). According to Marcia it is crucial for developing teenagers to learn to be independent and capable of making their own decisions (Marcia, 1980). Their confidence in their ability to make decisions and deal with problems directly contributes to their ability to resolve identity crises and reach “Identity Achievement” (Marcia, 1980). Connecting with the personality trait of autonomy is the skill of moral reasoning. According to Marcia, “development of moral reasoning seems to accompany the development of identity.” The skill of distinguishing right from wrong is necessary for teenagers’ ability to resolve their own identity crises (Cohen & Cohen, 1995). A teenager’s style of cognition also directly affects their ability to resolve identity crises (Marcia, 1980). Adolescents who occupy the “Identity Achievement” status and who have therefore resolved their identity crises have a “future-orientated time perspective” (Marcia, 1980). This suggests that the ability to plan and think ahead is necessary to overcome an identity crisis (Cohen & Cohen,
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