The problem of identity, in its various aspects (dynamics, structure, types, etc.) is a major one in modern psychological science. The term “identity” in the Russian language is used infrequently and primarily in the sense of “identity”, but E. Erikson meant by identity wholeness and also continuity of personality. The formation of identity is the most important task of its development.
E. Erickson created his theory of identity, based on the clinical analysis of the variability of “I” in the neuroses. The exceptional importance of the phenomenon of identity has become clear to Erickson in the course of psychotherapeutic practice after the second world war. His patients were soldiers returning to the pursuits of peace. Bravely enduring all the hardships of war, they suffered from neuroses in their lives peacefully. Patients had the following symptoms: fear, anxiety, isolation, the loss of the ability to emotional communication. The combination of these symptoms, according to E. Erickson, was inherent in blurred identity. The cause of such complex of neurotic symptoms E. Erickson saw the changing social conditions of existence of the individual. Soldiers in the army occupied a clearly defined place in society, were included in social relationships, have a strong purpose and value system, specific abilities and personal qualities required to perform military duties. After the war, soldiers had to engage in new social relations, to find a new place in postwar society. In other words, the soldiers had to form a new identity to replace the old. The difficulties of such restructuring and caused a neurotic condition, E. Erikson as diffuse, or loss of identity.
E. Erickson explored the socio-psychological mechanisms and means of identity formation in the process of growing up human. The scientist has constructed a schema of human development, highlighting eight stages covering the whole life – from birth to old age. Its model E. Erickson based on the epigenetic principle, taken from embryology: each stage of development contains moments which are decisive for further evolution.
The identity of the subject creates a sense of stability and continuity of the self, despite the changes that occur to the human being in its growth and development, learn more on international adoption at adoption agencies blog. The transition from one form to another identity causes a crisis of identity. The first solid form of identity is formed in adolescence (E. Erickson does not emit separately adolescence). This period is characterized by the deepest crisis. This crisis draws the three lines of development: rapid physical growth and puberty; emotional instability and concern, “how do I look in the eyes of others”, “what am I”; the need to find their professional vocation that meets the acquired skills, individual abilities and demands of society.
Youth age, according to E. Erickson, is built around a crisis of identity consisting of a series of social and personal election, and identification and determination. If the youth cannot solve these problems, he formed a blurred identity, the development of which can go along four main lines:
1. psychological withdrawal from intimacy, avoidance of close interpersonal relationships;
2. the erosion of the sense of time, inability to build life plans, fear of growing up and of change;
3. the erosion of productive, creative ability, inability to mobilize their internal resources and focus on priority activities;
4. the formation of a “negative identity”, the rejection of self-determination and the choice of samples for negative behavior provided for the post by International Adoption research blogger and columnist.
The canadian researcher James Marcia in 1996 identified four stages of identity development, measured by the extent of professional, religious and political self-determination of the young man.
1. “Uncertain, vague identity” is characterized by the fact that the individual did not yet have any clear beliefs, chose a profession and not faced with a crisis of identity.
2. “Early, premature identification” occurs when an individual is involved in an appropriate system of relations, but did not do it on their own , and as a result of the experience of crisis and trials, and on the basis of foreign opinions, following someone else’s example or authority.
3. For stage of “Moratorium” is characterized by the fact that the individual is in the process of normative identity crisis, choosing from the numerous variants of development the only one who can call his own.
4. At the stage reached, “ Mature identity” crisis has been completed, the individual passed from the search itself to practical realization.
A teenager with an uncertain identity may come to the stage of the moratorium and then reach a Mature identity, but can also remain permanently at the blurred identity level or almost on the way of early identification, abandoning active choice and self-determination. Nevertheless, the concept of “Mature identity” and its criteria are ambiguous, since the peculiarities of individual development depend on many factors. Equally important for the formation of identity is the social environment. In our country, it is because a drastic change of the social situation in the last decade, broke the identity of adults, and the impact on the younger generation.