In my opinion adolescence is a sensitive period and not a critical period for identity development in South Africans. Critical periods involve the notion of an impactful event in one’s life that happens at a specific point during development (Papalia et al, 1998). But in order to answer the question of whether adolescence is a critical or sensitive period for identity development in South Africa one also needs to look at the variety of different definitions of critical and sensitive periods. For example critical periods can also be “… a certain kind of experience at one point in development has a profoundly different impact on future behaviour than having that same experience at any other point in development (Bruer, 2001).” Both these definitions refer to specific events in someone’s life that has an impact in one’s development. As a result of this ambiguity one can definitely argue that adolescence is a sensitive period and not a critical period for identity in South Africans.
Having said that, I would like t...
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...ausal Interpretations. Psychological Bulletin, 105(2), 179-197.
Bruer, J.T. (2001). A critical and Sensitive Period Primer. In D.B. Bailey, J.T. Bruer, F.J.Symons & J.W. Lichtman (Eds), Critical Thinking about Critical Periods.(pp. 3- 26). Baltimore: Brookes.
Norris, S.A., Roeser, R.W., Richter, L.M., Lewin, N., Fleetwood, S.A., Taole, E. & van de Wolf, K. (2008). South African-ness Among Adolescents. The Emergence of a Collective Identity Within the Birth to Twenty Chort Study. Journal of Early Adolescence, 28 (1), 51-69.
The research Cooperative
Thom, D.P. & Coetzee, C.S. (2004). Identity Development of South African adolescents in a democratic society. Society in Transition, 35 (1), 183- 193.
Papalia, D E, Olds, S W & Feldman, R D (1998). Human Development. 7th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
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