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The next stage is a 10 year range from 14-24 year olds. It is the Fidelity: Identity vs Role Confusion stage. Here the person is going through the “What do others think about me?” question. They are wondering what they want to be when they grow up and later they are developing a sense of sexual identity. It seems though in our day and age this may be happening earlier than it did in the past. Remember our talk on the superego well this is where he begins to really start to shine. In the past stages the Id had a lot of control and the child was more impulsive now the child/adolescent/adult is beginning to think more in terms of looking “good” for others whoever those others may be.
In the beginning there will be some role-confusion as the adolescent begins to ponder how he/she will fit into the adult world. They begin to explore who they are as a person and their own identity. Erikson proposed that a majority of the adolescents learn their place and find their identity. This is one of the biggest identity crisis moments a person will pass through. The individual will be looking at who they have become and comparing it to what society expects them to become. This stage represents the bridge between childhood and adulthood. Of note here is because of society this stage is prolonged because of the time it takes to gain the skills needed for an occupation.
The dilemma in this stage is when society is too insistent on who the individual should become it can cause confusion in the individual. If an individual is given space to explore and find for themselves who they are then they will gain a strong sense of identity. Of course there needs to be boundaries but allowing the individual to have more space is necessary for them to find out who they are.
This is the YA novel stage and the many conflicts that evolve in this stage are fun to explore and examine. We have many great examples of this in movies and books. What are some of your favorite? Of course you can name your own as wellJ