Identity and Identity Formation

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Erikson’s theory is also greatly connected to personal development since it entails various aspects that enhance appropriate personal development. One of the main components of personal development includes physical development, where an individual takes note of the physical changes. Intellectual development is also a major aspect of personal development since it improves cognitive reasoning (Pfeifer & Berkman, 2018). Socio-emotional development also portrays how individuals react to different environments when interacting with others. Another significant aspect of self-development is language development which enables an individual to maintain good communication processes to enhance interpersonal relations. This paper strives to highlight how an individual undergoes all the stages of personal identity formation for appropriate personal development.

The adolescent stage is also considered essential for self-knowledge since adolescents can explore different emerging identities within them and how they are connected to them. An individual also understands their immediate environments and how they react to different aspects of the environment (Specht, 2017, pp. 10–17). Some of the major components that may influence an individual’s identity formation include cultural orientation, race, and different experiences within society (Specht, 2017, pp. 10–17). At the adolescent stage, individuals can develop their own beliefs concerning their socio-cultural orientation, such as gender, religion, and race.

James Marcia strives to outline the man concept that an individual’s perception of identity is greatly ascertained by the reliance and choices a person makes regarding social and personal characteristics. The four main senses of identity include; Identity Achievement, Identity Foreclosure, Identity Diffusion, and Identity Moratorium (Specht, 2017, pp. 10–17). As individuals grow, they tend to discover the strengths and weaknesses in different life stages that enhance personal development. The concepts also enable one to take stronger and more effective stances regarding moral, ethical, and social issues.

Identity Foreclosure

I was amongst the best-performing students in different educational matters during my early childhood education. My performance in both studies and other extra-curriculum activities such as arts and sports were excellent. However, after grade 6, I lost my dedication and control, which saw me perform poorly due to a lack of motivation (Kroger, 2017). My surrounding environment contributed to my lack of motivation to go on with my excellent educational journey. My other siblings were not interested in education and spent most of their time playing with their peers, whereas their performances were not satisfactory. This stage portrayed identity foreclosure for me since my actions and decisions were majorly based on the characteristics and qualities of my siblings and other individuals close to me (Kroger, 2017). A few friends and my siblings provided me with an environment that did not favor me in exploring other productive ventures other than adopting their traits which affected my studies. However, I managed to attain the required grade for college after high school, but I did not go for counseling on the appropriate course to pursue.

Identity Diffusion

After graduating from high school, I experienced identity diffusion since I was in a position where I could not decide on what career path to take. All my peers had their parents and siblings taking them through the appropriate careers choices while my family and friends were not interested in educational matters (Kroger, 2017). I had no one to advise me to pursue a given course to become a given profession in the future and felt like I had no option of what to do with my education and life. Having no options to choose from in my life and education made me make a difficult and wrong choice; many students opted for the course.

Identity Moratorium

After majoring in a science course while in college, my first and second years in college proved to be very challenging since I encountered difficulty understanding various complex scientific concepts. I, however, managed to achieve a distinction after my 12th grade. I faced another major milestone of Identity formation, which is Identity Moratorium (Kroger, 2017). At this point in life, I was only able to make major decisions but could not give out the required commitment for all my career choices (Kroger, 2017). After pursuing a science course in college, I had the option of choosing between a medical or an engineering major. Still, I was not prepared mentally because of my family’s financial situation and attitude towards education.

Identity Achievement

Another important stage that I underwent was the Identity achievement stage. After experiencing all the relevant stages for identity formation in my educational and career journey, I landed at a stage where I had to make healthy decisions to benefit my future (Kroger, 2017). I opted to work full-time at a local school as a teacher assistant to help me raise financial resources to help me pursue a medical course most preferably bachelors in psychology in the university. Since my family could not afford the tuition fees, I am working and studying at the same time and am currently enrolled at Suny Empire. I was raised in a catholic family but I am not interested in catholic, and my sexual orientation is of a straight individual. I am not an active individual in the political arena because of the high number of corrupt individuals within the political sphere who add up as our leaders.

Identity formation involves all the processes an individual undergoes to develop and possess a given personality over the particular period. Personalities are different characteristics that make an individual different from other community members. The adolescent stage is critical since it is where an individual begins to understand their bodies and the changes that they experience. An individual also develops in terms of cognitive growth and emotional behavior.


Kroger, J. (2017). Identity development in adolescence and adulthood. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Web.

Pfeifer, J. H., & Berkman, E. T. (2018). The development of self and identity in adolescence: neural evidence and implications for a value-based choice perspective on motivated behavior. Child Development Perspectives, 12(3), 158–164. Web.

Specht, J. (2017). Personality development across the lifespan (pp. 10–17). Academic Press, An Imprint Of Elsevier.

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PsychologyWriting. "Identity and Identity Formation." March 6, 2023.