Interview Psychology the Physical, Cognitive Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

I think I want to go into nursing but I am not 100% sure yet. Right now, I am just taking basic gen ed classes since this is my first year in school -- I did take a couple of classes this past summer. Most adolescents I know in my neighborhood have graduated already as well." Georgia stated she was still 'feeling out' her identity, which is common in adolescence. She was willing to be independent enough to pay for her own college, which suggests a desire to 'stand on her own two feet' despite the fact that she still lives at home.

Georgia also noted that she does not contribute to the family income and that her father is a biopharma executive. Her desire to enter nursing could reflect her exposure to this field of work at home. However, she saw her decision not to attend a four-year college as defiance. Georgia seemed to be denying some of the values she learned at home, such as the value of college and a four-year education, while still affirming them in some of her other, hesitant life choices, such as speculating about attending nursing school.

According to the developmental theorist Erik Erikson's view, younger adolescents enter an 'industry vs. inferiority stage' in which they spend more time with peers. A substantial part of Georgia's time was still devoted to peer relationships. Still, during this phase "parents continue to play important roles in their development, especially in guiding their academic achievement and managing their opportunities" (Santrock 2011: 381). Georgia said that the majority of her time was spent in peer-related activities and that she was primarily focused upon "having fun with my friends. I love to dance and since. I have been in drama and choir. I love ballet and swimming." This tendency to ignore adult responsibilities such as choosing a career, her focus on her peers and her conflict with her father about her life goals could suggest some unresolved middle school tensions. Erikson firmly believed that early, unresolved conflicts could suspend the individual in that developmental phase, making it difficult for him or her to move forward and grow.

However, Georgia's sense of uncertainty about what she wanted to do with her life and her refusal to choose a career path or a major at this time at a traditional university is also characteristic of the developmental stage of late adolescence, suggesting that she had moved on to this next phase of development. "The search for an identity during adolescence is aided by a psychosocial moratorium, which is Erikson's term for the gap between childhood security and adult autonomy. During this period, society leaves adolescents relatively free of responsibilities and free to try out different identities (Santrock 2011: 384). A failure to find a secure identity can lead to withdrawal from peer relationships, or utter conformity and fear of standing out in a crowd. However, Georgia did show a strong enough sense of self that she believed in her Catholicism and unlike her friends, was willing to wait for marriage to have sex.

In contrast to Erikson, James Marcia "classifies individuals based on the existence or extent of their crisis or commitment" during developmental phases, suggesting that all identity crises have different degrees of intensity (Santrock 2011: 384). This is suggested by Georgia's experience. At present, Georgia seems to be in a state of identity diffusion: "not only are they undecided about occupational and ideological choices, they are also likely to show little interest in such matters" (Santrock 2011: 384). Georgia's emphasis on her love of partying with friends suggests she is still in this phase of identity diffusion. However, she may also showing some signs of "identity moratorium" in her career, as an individual who is in the midst of a crisis but whose commitments are either absent or are only vaguely defined"…

Sources Used in Document:


Santrock, Jack. (2011). Life-span development. (13th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

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