The sample essay on Erickson Life Stages deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches, and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
Throughout this course I have become familiar with psychological concepts and theories that occur during all stages of life. Even though I have not lived long enough to discuss many of the topics, I have just made it through adolescence. Because I do not remember many of my younger infancy and early childhood I feel that it would be best to discuss my adolescence while it is fresh in my mind.
Turning eighteen is a big step in one’s life and there are many changes that take place during this time, in this paper I will analyze these stages in my life. Going through identity crisis during high school, identity achievement, moral reasoning, and social relationships are all concepts that I can relate to during my adolescent years. In the text Erikson states that the central crisis of adolescence is that of identity versus role confusion [Bruce, 2004], which every high school student can relate to when they enter this new stage of their life.
Through my years of high school I was interested in many different activities with many different groups of friends. I had my friends in softball, in cheerleading, in choir, and in band. Because I was involved with many different groups of friends I was pulled in different directions. I was no longer a child anymore but a teenager and therefore becoming a “new person,” obtaining a new identity. Confusion about all the role choices that are thrown at you leads to identity crisis, which is a period in which an adolescent is confused about the lack of identity [Erikson, 1968].
Erikson Life Stages
I myself went through this more than once throughout my years of high school. Each year you lose friends and you make new friends, you lose interest in one activity or sport and become interested in another I went through a different identity crisis each year while all of these events occurred to me. All throughout high school I feel like I did not truly know who I was. It was when I had to start thinking about growing up and moving past high school to the “real world” did I truly have a sense of who I was, who I would become.
I then reached identity achievement which is when an identity status has been achieved after going through the crisis [Erikson, 1968]. I reached this stage when I realized where I wanted to go to college and what my occupation would be. I felt like I was growing up and now had a purpose in life. Erikson and Marcia stated that the process of identity development could happen at different points in a teenager’s life. [Marcia, 1980] Throughout my life I have usually hung out with people that are older than me and therefore I reached identity achievement at a sooner time than other people my age.
I layout all my plans for the future such as where I will finish school, what my occupation will be, that I want to get married, how many kids I want, and much more; while other kids my age are only worried about the right now. Because I had all these plans for my future and knew exactly where I was headed in life did I feel that I reached the stage of identity achievement sooner than many other adolescents my age. Also throughout my adolescent years I “tested” my parents to see what I could get away with.
In Kohlberg’s stages of moral development in the preconventional stage of punishment and obedience orientation it states that the teenager decides what is right or wrong on the basis of what is punished. [Crain, 1985] Every teenager wants to have more freedom, a later curfew, and for their parents to just get off their back. In wanting these things teenagers will test their parents as I did in my teen years. For example, if my mom would tell me to be home at midnight I would be a little late the first time and if I got away with that then the next time I would be even later.
I would continue this until I got in trouble for being late which then in turn I knew how far I could go before being punished each time. In the text from the textbook it is suggested that the bond between a teenager and a parent fades during adolescence but will soon return. This statement is true in my experiences with my parents. When I went through the stage of wanting to be on my own and I am grown up so I can make my own decisions is when the conflicts between me and my parents began.
During this time I was not as close with my parents like I had been in the past and in a way it was saddening but I was a selfish teenager and did not care. Even though I still live with my parents they treat me more as an adult now like I wanted years ago, when in fact I was not an adult then. Now that I am older and more mature realizing that I love my parents more than anything and there is a happy medium while living at home and having my own freedoms without the conflicts. Now me and my parents relationship I feel is better than ever because I have become more mature and fell into my new role or identity in life.
During adolescent years your friends are the most important and there is that one who you call your best friend that knows absolutely everything about you. Throughout high school you make new friends and lose old ones but no matter what happens I feel that each and every friendship is very important in a teen’s life. It is said that with girls they prefer to hang out with other girls who obtain the same relationship status. This may be true but the main reason why friendships end is because of boys but in the adolescent years if the friendship is stable enough this will not be a factor.
I can relate to this on many different occasions where boys could have been the end of a great friendship but because of the maturity of our friendship it only made it that much stronger. While in high school you tend to hand out with a certain clique or group of people. My best friend to this day was someone who shared the same interests as me in high school and as we grew and moved into early adulthood we still shared the same values in life, remaining the best of friends. Now we move on to the topic of romantic relationships.
Through the adolescent years teens go through relationships that fail but in turn help them development and learn from the mistakes they make. Many romantic relationships in fact do start from heterosexual friendships as opposed to just sexual relations. Throughout my adolescent years I always dated people who had started out as friends but then the thing you had to worry about was ruining the great friendship that you had between the two of you but because of the mature person I was becoming in my teen years I realized that it didn’t always ruin the friendship just because you dated.
Even though the end of each relationship may be hard it is a great part of the adolescent development of teens. In conclusion, now have I not only become familiar to but can relate to many of the concepts and theories discussed throughout the course. I have been through and am able to analyze identity crisis, identity achievement, moral reasoning, and social relationships as discussed in the paragraphs above. Now entering early adulthood I can continue to apply the theories learned in this course to my life and see just exactly how my life compares to the text and research.
Works Cited Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity Youth and Crisis. New York: Norton. Enhancing the Spiritual Development of Adolescent Girls (2004) Retrieved November 26th, 2008, from: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0KOC/is_5_7/ai_n6121239/pg_1? tag=art Body;col1 W. C. Crain. (1985). Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall. pp. 118-136. Marcia, J. (1980). Identity in adolescence. In J. Adelson (Ed. ), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 159-187). New York: Wiley.