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Chapter 6 - FRHD Adolescent Development Chapter 6 The Self...

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FRHD* - Adolescent Development Chapter 6: The Self Culture and the Self Scholars typically distinguish between the independent self promoted by individualistic cultures and the interdependent self promoted by collectivistic cultures Cultures that promote and independent, individualistic self also promote and encourage reflection about the self; good thing to think highly of yourself In collectivistic cultures, the interests of the group (family, kinship group, ethnic group, nation, religious institution) are supposed to come first, before individual needs o Those who possess high level of self-esteem, threaten the harmony of the group because they might be inclined to pursue personal interests regardless of the groups interests o Socialized to mute self-esteem and consider needs and interests of others to be at least as important as self needs and interests o Self is then defined by the relationships with others to a large extent o Self cannot be understood apart from social roles and obligations Self-Conceptions Changes in self-understanding in adolescence have foundations in the general changes of cognitive functioning Self-conceptions become more abstract and complex More Abstract Susan Harter o With increasing age children describe themselves in less concrete terms and more in terms of their traits o In adolescence, self-conception become more trait-focused, and traits become more abstract, as they describe themselves in terms of intangible personality characteristics One aspect of this capacity for abstraction is adolescents can distinguish between an actual self and possible selves o Actual self : person’s perceptions of self as it is o Possible self : person’s conception of self as it potentially may be; may include both ideal self and a feared self Ideal self : person you would like to be Feared self : self a person imagines it is possible to become but dreads becoming Both kinds of possible selves require abstract thinking; possible selves exist only as abstractions, as ideas in the mind Studies have found that size of discrepancy between actual and ideal self is related to depressed mood in adolescents and emerging adults; if discrepancy is large enough, it can result in feelings of failure, inadequacy, and depression o Discrepancy is larger in mid-adolescence Awareness of actual and possible selves can provide motivation to strive toward ideal self and avoiding the feared self Australian study: early emerging adulthood was found to be time of “grand dreams” of being wealthy and having a glamorous occupation, but beyond emerging adulthood visions of a possible self became more realistic, if still optimistic Delinquent adolescents possess a feared self but are less likely to have a clear conception of an ideal self to strive for More Complex Self-conceptions become more complex especially from early to middle adolescence
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