Identity vs. Role Confusion
Erikson's 5th Stage of Psychosocial Development


Psycho- Social
Adolescents explore, experiment with, and are
interested in developing new and uniquely personal:
Through peers, role models, and a variety of other
members of the culture, society:
* Aspirations
* Possible (future) selves: Roles to occupy
* Personal beliefs, values
* Occupational interests
* Sexual orientations

Provides and encourages (or, limits and discourages) a wide range of lifestyles:
* ways of making a living,
* ways of behaving,
* ways of expressing oneself
(politically, sexually)
* ways of thinking, ways of valuing.

 
Psychosocial Conflict
Adolescents explore variation in identities they see others express/model,
and they then test out how the culture reacts to their own (trial) expressions of these identities.
 
Adult Support Adult Opposition/Interference
If adults encourage and support exploration,
if adults offer offer new possibilities to explore,
and if adults patiently support the trying out
and breaking off of these commitments:

If adults limit and control the exploration process,
in adults are unwilling to provide new possibilities to try,
and if adults force adolescents into premature commitments:

   
Then, adolescents develop a willingness
to seek out, experiment with, explore, and even
commit to aspects of identity: IDENTITY
Then, adolescents either foreclose on an identity (without exploring options) or postpone the exploration and
commitment process: ROLE CONFUSION
Developmental Resource Developmental Deficit