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ERIC Number: ED336675
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
I Feel Like an Armadillo: A Look at College Seniors and Recent Graduates Using Erik Erikson's Model of "Identity Versus Role-Diffusion."
Jaurigue, Rebecca
Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson observed that achieving a sense of self, an identity, was the important psychosocial task facing adolescents. The conflict lies in discovering and defining that identity despite parental and societal demands, changing values and opportunities, the influence of friends, and lovers, education, and finances. Although Erickson deemed "identity versus role-diffusion" to be the last stage of adolescence, this paper argues that achieving identity is a process that actually continues through early adulthood. The extended phase is seen especially in college seniors and graduates who have spent at least 4 years in a university, a place which one professor has likened to Disneyland, descirbing it as "an environment for pleasure through learning and knowledge." It has been found that among final year students, the prospect of going out into the world and getting a "real job" causes mixed emotions. Accounting for this are internal factors, such as a lack of commitment about plans or values, and external factors, such as a bleak job market and parental pressures to earn an independent living. Media attention has heightened regarding the development of young adults, with the likely purpose of defining them as constituents and consumers. Family therapists and career counselors can tell seniors and graduates to deal with reality, allow for change, and do something. If this generation views family life and free time as of equal importance with career demands, then a resolution of the "identity crisis" may moves young adults on to Erikson's next stage of psychosocial development of "intimacy versus isolation." (Quotations from newspapers, magazines, books, and individual young adults are included.) (ABL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - General; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A