Case Presentation of Precious The story of “Precious” provides an excellent example of how a person can become lost in the system, and also how one can begin to turn things around by utilizing available resources. Precious’s mother, Mary, has been taking advantage of Precious to help her manipulate the system so Mary can continue to receive welfare benefits. Precious ultimately meets with the social worker, Mrs. Weiss, who begins to help her move forward in life. It is my understanding that Precious initially met with Mrs. Weiss for welfare benefits, but this relationship seemed to change as the movie progressed. I was admittedly taken aback by the conditions of the office in which Mrs. Weiss worked, how she interacted with Precious initially, …show more content…
During this stage, Erikson believes that the individual’s successful identity formation relies on social, cognitive and physical maturation (Pittman, Keiley, Kerpelman, & Vaughn, 2011). The individual tries out different roles for who they see in themselves and who they portray to others, eventually committing to their own personal role and occupational choice. Pittman et al. (2011) describe the identity formation as “consisting of decisions, investments, and commitments tied to current and future roles, goals, and relationships.” Additional considerations for identity formation include the context of the culture which is available to the adolescent during this time. After successful resolution of this stage during adolescence, individuals will typically progress into Erikson’s Intimacy versus Isolation stage during young …show more content…
During Erikson’s first developmental stage, Trust versus Mistrust, the child learns whether or not they can trust the world in which they live. As the infant begins to explore their environment they learn what a safe environment is, and this is largely due to the attachment formed with their parent or caregiver (Ashford & LeCroy, 2013, p. 245). Precious reports she did not begin to be physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by her parents until the age of three, so she may have developed some level of trust with her parents during this first developmental stage. However, with Erikson’s second stage of Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt, Precious likely began having problems resolving the conflicts presented in Erikson’s theory of development. This stage is typically entered into at the age of 18 months and lasts until around the age of three years. During this stage, primary tasks involve developing a greater sense of self control and independence (Ashford and LeCroy, 2013, p. 304). This is the age when Precious began being abused by her parents, and was therefore likely not able to successfully resolve her tasks. For instance, Precious was not allowed to take control of her body and was forced into acts involuntarily. Her mother also controlled what Precious ate, at times limiting the amount of food available to her and at other times forcing her to
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Finally, Precious and this social worker read through the “Informed Consent” document together. This was to ensure that Precious understood her rights and knew what to expect regarding her treatment. Precious reported that she understood what was stated in the document, at which point both she and this social work signed and dated the last
In each stage, there is a crisis of two opposing emotional forces (McLeod, 2013). From birth to age one is Erikson’s stage of trust vs. mistrust. If taken care of well and protected, a child will achieve a healthy balance of trust and mistrust. Even though Precious’s physical abuse did not start until she was three, there is a high chance that her living environment was not surrounded by safety and love. Precious may have developed mistrust because later on in her life she because suspicious of others and was not able to connect because of an overwhelming sense of fear and inability to trust.
If a magnificent movie is judged by its ability to leave a message with you long after you’ve seen it, then the movie Precious is one of them. There are various reasons to see the movie Precious. Rarely does a movie upset and inspire you at the same time. It will leave you emotionally. It is a movie set in 1987 Harlem about overweight, uneducated, African American teenager who is a victim of incest. Among other things, it is a story of perseverance and survival. It also gives us a raw look at the connection between abuse and eating problems.
Three of Erikson’s psychosocial stages encompass infancy, adolescence, and late adulthood. Infancy begins at birth and lasts for one year. The social need in infancy depends on upon the child’s physical needs. If the parents and guardians meet the child’s needs, the child will develop a simple sense of trust. If the parents do not meet the child’s needs, it will lead to mistrust. Additionally, adolescence begins in the teen years and last into the twenties. The social need in adolescence becomes identity. Teenagers struggle with finding themselves during this stage and sometimes become confused. To form their identity, they experiment with certain roles and ideas and encompass everything to form one identity: theirs. Finally, late adulthood begins in the late sixties and lasts until death. At this stage in life, reflection becomes a huge part of life. This reflection can either lead to feelings associated with success or feelings associated with
The idea that adolescence is a time of “role experimentation” and a “stage of identity formation” (Erikson, 1956) has existed for decades, dating back to Erikson’s definition of the life stage: Identity vs. Role Confusion. In this stage, as the adolescent begins to be conscious of how their identity is perceived by others, a heightened level of identity awareness develops.
Biological influences combined with societal and social expectations contribute to how well people learn to adapt to their environments (2013). According to Erikson, there are eight stages of development. Within these states, there are different psychological, emotional and cognitive tasks. In order to adjust, individuals must learn to develop these tasks. During adolescence, Erikson states that each person needs to navigate through the development task of ‘‘Identity vs. Identity confusion ’’ (2013). He defined this task by stating that adolescent children must learn to develop a sense of self and establish independence. Prior to this stage of development, a person’s parents largely influence their identity. In this stage the adolescent children begin to explore and develop their identity outside of their parents’ influence (Hill, Bromell, Tyson, & Flint, 2007). Adolescents are generally more egocentric at this stage and have an increased sense of self-consciousness. They also have a strong desire to conform to peer influence and develop concerns regarding their appearance. They develop concern about their level of competence in relation to their peer group as well. As peer influence increases, during this stage, parental influence decreases (Ashford & LeCroy, 2013; Hill et. al, 2007). Conflict generally increases between parent and child at this stage of development (2007).
In conclusion, the formation of one’s identity has many components. Beginning at the onset of adolescence and continuing to expand, grow and form and reform as we live through the struggles or success of life. Many theorists have endeavored to clarify the development of identity formation. However, Erik Erickson offered one significant theory involving the formation of one’s identity. Expounding on Erickson theory, Marcia developed his Identity Status Model according to the existence or absence of crisis and commitments. These four statuses, diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium and achievement can combine in various ways to produce a self. One’s sense of identity is determined largely by the choices and commitments made, therefore, having a well-developed sense of self can provide an individual with insight to their strengths, weaknesses, and individual uniqueness. An individual that finds themselves
Marcia’s model of identity formation classifies adolescents into one of four categories based on their development towards an identity in different areas of life such as religion, social, occupational and political-ideological (Sigelman and Rider, 2009). The two main questions which Marcia’s model addresses are “has the individual experienced any crisis” (has the individual dealt with identity issues or explored alternatives) (Sigelman and Rider, 2009, pp 321) and “whether the individual has achieved commitment” (has the individual resolved any questions which might have been raised) (Sigelman and Rider, 2009, pp 321).
Scientists and researchers continue to evaluate the adolescence timeframe in which all people form the foundation for the rest of their life. The knowledge and understanding required by not only scientists and researchers, but also psychoanalysts create a unique set of principles within the field. A vast understanding of past work done by people such as Erik Erikson and many others, adds to the current, growing knowledge attained by all professionals in the field of identity formation (Brogan 1). Ray Brogan, author of Identity Development understands the processes in which identity development research progresses in terms of past, present and future, as well as understanding the risks in which factors such as suppressive parents, teachers and even friends can pose on a developing adolescent’s personality. “Many development theorists see identity development as a means for an individual to explain the present as a bridge from the past to the future” (1). Brogan takes an interpretative approach to the research completed in past psychoanalysts by further expanding on their findings and interjecting his own throughout the analysis of identity formations processes.
Erikson explains that a person’s personality grows in an automatic order through eight stages of psychosocial development from childhood to adulthood (Holt et al., 2015). If a stage is successfully completed that results in a healthy personality and the accomplishment of basic qualities which are characteristic strengths which the ego can uses to solve on-going crises (Holt et al., 2015). “Identity versus Role confusion” is the most important stage in the process of forming a strong identity and developing a sense of direction in life (Holt et al., 2015). The stage occurs during adolescence from about 12-18 years, teenagers explore who they are as individuals, and seek to establish a sense of self, and may try out different roles, activities and behaviors (Holt et al.,
In this paper I will be focusing on Erikson’s Theory mainly about identity versus role confusion. Finding one’s identity is not always an easy task. Everyone at some point in his or her life has had, as Erikson puts it, an identity crisis. Everyone experiences different struggles that can have either a positive or negative impact on their identity. On my path to identity, I have reached identity achievement, which means I have explored and made commitments. I will also be focusing on two articles highlighting a fifth possible outcome regarding identity and looking at identity statuses as developmental trajectories.
The main issue that children face during this stage is self-identification. Adolescents are making the transition to adulthood and trying to figure out exactly who they are. Children during this time, often experience an identity crisis as they explore many different beliefs and value systems in the search for self-identity (Woolfolk, 2013, p.102). Societal forces, such as race, sex and class, also play an important role in self-identification, especially in regards to African American youth. Erikson believed that the search for identity encompassed not only how an individual viewed him or herself but also how they were viewed by society (Brittian 2012). African Americans, between the ages of 12 and 18, grapple with the same issues all adolescents experience, such as physical changes and the desire for autonomy. However, African American adolescents also deal with racial prejudice and the role that it plays in shaping their self-perception. According to Brittian (2012), the way that African Americans handle issues of race, rather problematic or constructive, has a major impact on the formation of their self-identity. Identity is the focal point of the adolescence stage and when children can’t decide who they are or their place in society, they become hampered by an identity
According to Erikson, when adolescents are unable to find ownership of an identity, their lives can spiral off in several directions. In some ways they will reverse the role of their desire, slipping into a socially unacceptable role or a role that does not match who they wish to become (Feldman, 2012). Other teenagers will forego social interactions, leaving them to feel sad and alone in the world (Feldman, 2012). Teenagers thrive off of finding an identity to center themselves around, and when they fail to identify one, the adolescent crisis ensues (Feldman, 2012). There are several factors that can distract an adolescent from identifying a personal identity and pursuing a life of well-being...
Adolescence refers to the transition period experienced by children that occur between childhood and adulthood (Shefer, 2011). Identity is first confronted in adolescence between the ages 12 – 19 years old, because of physical and hormonal changes in the body. It is also due to the introduction of formal operations in cognitive development and societal expectation that this contributes to an individual’s identity to be explored and established (McAdams, 2009). The forces within and outside (family, community) the individual that promote identity development usually create a sense of tension. The basic task is, in Erikson’s terms, “fidelity or truthfulness and consistency to one’s core self or faith in one’s ideology” (Fleming, 2004: 9), in a nutshell: "Who am I and where am I
In Erikson’s Identity vs. Role Confusion stage, I thought, “Who am I?” countless times like many other adolescents. I occupied much of my time trying to construct a firm identity of myself, which I now realized did more harm than good. Letting myself explore different interests would have helped me find my identity than me trying to fake some firm identity.