Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gerald Robert Adams
A widely read book by Erik H. Erikson launched a set of ideas that stimulated the formulation of the concept of identity status. Writing from a psychoanalytic perspective, Erikson construed that individuals at each stage of life (e.g., infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood) have a crisis to resolve, with all positive resolutions enhancing the foundation of ego identity that is created during adolescence. Each society is thought to provide early enhancements of a child's imitation and identification with parents. This process stimulates, in the early years of childhood, an identity that is based on parental ideals, values, or beliefs. But during adolescence, society offers a psychosocial moratorium for the youth to experiment with ideas about roles, values, goals, and possible commitments that could expand identity beyond parental ideals to a more self-constructed identity. During the psychosocial moratorium (i.e., a time to be free to explore personal and career goals and options), ...