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Identity Crisis

Definition

Erik H. Erikson coined the term identity crisis to describe the uncertainty, and even anxiety, that adolescents may feel as they recognize that they are no longer children and become puzzled and confused about their present and future roles in life.

Context and Importance

You may recall a time during the teenage years when you were confused about who you were, what you should be, and what the future might hold in store for you. Forming an adult identity involves grappling with many important questions: What career path best suits me? What religious, moral, or political values can I call my own? Who am I as male or female and as a sexual being? How important are marriage and raising children to me? Just where do I ...

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