The Development of Identity and Self-Concept Essay

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The Development of Identity and Self-Concept Middle childhood to adolescent development is an important time for counselors to explore. During this time children begin to develop their identity and their self-concept. In order to determine where the client is developmentally, regardless of age, and explore potential factors associated with maladaptive thoughts of self-worth, counselors must understand the process of identity and self-concept development. Identity As a child transitions from middle childhood to early adolescence, they begin to explore who they are beyond their family. They explore their gender roles, morals, relationships, understandings, and conflicts (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). Development and Influences Along with cognitive development, identity develops. As the child begins to develop logic, strategic, and abstract thinking; their information processing and problem solving enhances (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). As a result, children can perceive the consequences and benefits of their choices, which in turn influence how they choose their morals, social relationships, and sexuality. Social development also influences identity. As children are developing relationships with peers, they begin to learn how to reflect on their peers intentions and perspectives, and compare themselves to their peers; identifying their own motives. Likewise, cultural factors also influence a child’s identity development through their cultures foundational principles and experiences, which the child could use to compare to peers, and identify differentiating characteristics, ethnicities and values. Self-Concept According to Broderick and Blewitt (2010), self-concept is multidimensional. Self-concept includes a child’s perception, judgment, and feelings of their self. In addition, self-evaluations also spring from feedback received from outside

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