A Question of Identity
The question of identity is fundamental to everyone and informs values, decision making, and quality of life. For adolescents, who are negotiating the developmental growth from childhood to adulthood, it is especially important to gain a sense of self, and direction in life. This fundamental question has been pondered through the centuries by inquiring minds searching for answers to the meaning of life. Exploration of these concepts is vital in dealing with activities of daily living and are essential components of psychological well-being, and determining factors in the formation of coping skills and resiliency to life’s challenges. A strong foundation and belief in one’s identity, meaning and purpose in life, as well as spiritual convictions may help turn negative experiences into opportunities for growth (Ryś, 2009). Adolescents who have a strong sense of self can be a protective factor in resisting peer pressure and involvement in unwanted behaviors such as bullying, vandalism, or self harm (Guerra & Bradshaw, 2008). The addictive pleasures of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are less likely to attract those with a clear idea of who they are (Griffin et al., 2001).
Ryś, E. (2009). The sense of life as a subjective spiritual human experience. Existential Analysis, 20(1), 50-68. Retrieved from http://www.existentialanalysis.co.uk/ page22.html
Griffin, K. W., Scheier, L. M., Botvin, G. J., & Diaz, T. (2001). Protective role of personal competence skills in adolescent substance use: Psychological well- being as a mediating factor. Psychology of Addicting Behaviors, 15(3), 194-203. doi:10.1037//0893-164X.15.3.194
Guerra, N. G., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2008, Winter). Linking prevention problem behaviors and positive youth development: Core Competencies for positive youth development and risk prevention. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 122, 1-17. doi:10.1002/cd.225
Exhibition of Mirrors