The stage of adolescent identity formation is a time of confusion, exploration, experimentation and even rebellion. Erik Erikson takes all of these issues into consideration and as such his approach to identity has become a significant tool when trying to understand the development of personality during adolescence. Erikson (1968) described adolescence in the following terms:
Given Erikson’s theory, the stage of adolescence, identity formation vs. role confusion, is fraught with self-doubt, insight and judgment. The additional factor of immigration can play a significant role in the identity formation of an adolescent. Immigration coupled with this developmental stage has proven to be a challenge for this population to navigate.
Clinicians need to understand the acculturation process of this population and to recognize the stressors that can become problematic as they maneuver their way through dual cultures. The goal is to inform clinicians about the challenges the adolescent Hispanic immigrant population face as they acculturate. In addition, we must consider the various treatment approaches/options that are available in order to help this population navigate the challenges of adolescence and acculturation. Addressing the needs of this population will help to normalize the process and to provide coping mechanisms to enable a smoother transition.
Written By Judy Grant from WVCC
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