Adolescence According to Erikson
"Adolescence is the age of the final establishment of a dominant positive ego identity. It is then that a future within reach becomes part of the conscious life plan." (Erikson, 63, p306)
Adolescence is the turning point. In Greek, it is the moment after which the future is redirected and confirmed. It would seem reasonable that much thought would be given to how to use this critical period to reinforce the positive self-image so important for growth. Rather many parents, teachers, and clergy are unprepared to help guide these budding personalities. Ignorant or apathetic or in dread of this confusing, rebellious stage, techniques are used to "deal with" teens that usually fail to maximize the tremendous potential adolescence offers.
Various researchers and scholars, including Erik Erikson, have marked adolescence as a critical period, if not the most critical period in human development--the fork in the road which forever shapes an individual's, and mankind's, destiny. Indeed, social scientists argue that our societies ultimately mirror the results of the adolescent development process.
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