An Assessment Ofadolescence and Identity Development

Due to the fact that I was raised as an only child by my great grandparents and my dad, I grew up around adults. This inhibited me from being amongst children my own age and allowed for a vivid imagination. They say that hind sight is twenty twenty, and I now see how a lot of the concerns I had about self-esteem, fitting in, and acceptance were all self-imposed. David Elkind and James Marcia’s theories on adolescence and identity development really apply to many of the concerns I faced and also explain much of my behavior today.

The imaginary audience and personal fable fallacies by Elkind and identity crisis theory by Marcia touch on areas I look at now and see that they were some of the very situations facing , not only myself, but all adolescence. David Elkind believed that adolescent thinking falls under two distinct areas, personal fables and imaginary audience. Looking back on my life, there is no surprise to find examples of both of these theories. I remember an instance where my cousins came from out of town to visit and we got into a heated argument. They felt I had it so good because I was an only child.

I lashed out and said that they did could not relate to how lonely it was for me. I sulked almost the entire time they were there because I felt misunderstood. The fact of the matter was I did have it good and my parents provided the essentials and love to me. The other example that came to mind that illustrates Elkind’s second theory of imaginary audience was the school bus scene. When I first began to ride a bus to school I was terrified. My reasoning was that everybody would be staring at me. Somehow I felt I would stand from the clothes I was wearing or from feeling I was the darkest kid on the bus.

This is classic imaginary audience because no one really cared, and most of the kids became my friends. James Marcia (1980; 2002) believes that finding an identity requires a period of intense self-exploration called an identity crisis (p. 316). High school can be very intense, especially when you are trying to fit in. One event that happened was the first time I tried to smoke marijuana with kids I thought were cool. I was willing to settle on being who they wanted me to be, which Marcia (1980; 2002) calls identification foreclosure “prematurely” settling on an identity chosen for you by others (316).

Needless to say, I was not able to hide the fact I did this and my father was not pleased. All in all, I made it through high school okay and got to what I felt was clarity. For me, I did not want to end up addicted to any substances or in jail, so I married my high school sweetheart and joined the Marines. This was a significant event in my life during high school and made me proud of myself. This seemed to be what Marcia (1980; 2002) called identification achievement were adolescents reach a status of passing through the identity crisis and succeeding in making personal choices about their beliefs and goals.

Even though the marriage only lasted seven years, we are still good friends and have raised three children and six grandchildren together. I am also proud to have served my country for six years in the U. S. Marine Corps, bringing honor to my family. In conclusion, the theories of David Elkind two fallacies of adolescent thinking: personal fable and imaginary audience are significant. For instance, they make aware the fallacies made by adolescents of exaggerating their beliefs of being unique. They also put in check the notion of being invulnerable to danger or being over fascinated with their own thoughts.

James Marcia theories of identity crisis is also important on recognizing whether adolescents are setting goals for themselves or have they allowed someone else to set goals for them. Whether they are exploring roles or avoiding considering roles for themselves. Both psychologists works are very important to child development because their studies could help adolescents become balanced and productive adults. Work Cited Morris, Charles G. (2013) Understanding Psychology / Charles G. Morris, Albert A. Maisto. New Jersey. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/David_Elkind 806

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