Erik Erikson 's Theory Of Psychosocial Development Essay

741 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 3 Pages
Within Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, social forces play a significant role in human development. The fifth stage of this theory focuses on the development of a person within their adolescence. Notably, one’s adolescent phase is a highly confusing time, where individuals tend to rely on external factors such as culture and society to mold their behaviors. The main identifiers of the fifth stage are ego identity and role confusion. Ego identity means establishing one’s own character and the values and beliefs that will shape them. It involves putting together what “you’ve learned about life and yourself and [molding] it into a unified self-image [that] your community finds meaningful” (Farmer, 2016). The community in this instance can be that of your personal relationships with family and friends. On the contrary, role confusion takes place when there is “uncertainty about one’s place in society” (Farmer, 2016). It is a sense of ambiguity regarding who you are and where you belong in the world. Unfortunately, both poles carry their own extremes. A common trait within adolescents is when ego identity is exceeded into a maladaptation of fanaticism, where one thinks what they say is law and will not change their ideas. The other side of the spectrum shows the repudiation of identity where one will join a group that has extreme values that will steer their identity in the direction the group believes in. These are “groups that have divorced themselves from the…

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