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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199864 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescents' Perceptions of the Relevance of Domains of Identity Formation: A South African Cross-Cultural Study
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:169-184
Author(s): Charl Alberts; Ndileka F. Mbalo; Christiaan J. Ackermann
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study investigated South-African Afrikaans-, English-, and Xhosa-speaking secondary school adolescents' (n=1,217) perceptions of the relative importance of identity-related domains.
Abstract: According to Erikson's theory of psychosocial development, the conflict between identity achievement and identity diffusion is the central developmental crisis to be addressed during adolescence (Erikson, 1980). Domains such as occupational decisionmaking, views on gender role, and other interpersonal domains may be equally relevant for identity formation in both genders. Two research hypotheses were formulated for the current study: adolescents from different cultural groups do not regard all domains as equally relevant; and female and male adolescents do not regard all domains as equally relevant. The study used a structured questionnaire that was composed of 14 domain-specific items. Most of the domains were regarded as very important or fairly important by a significant majority of participants. Four domains were regarded as very important by more than 70 percent of the total research group, namely, future career, moral values, family relationships, and religious matters. Political and sexual matters were regarded as of least importance. Intercultural differences were evident in most domains. Significant gender differences were also found. Relatively more females than males reported a high priority for domains such as future career, moral values, friendship with same-sex peers, gender role, and community matters. The male participants regarded relationships with the opposite sex and sexual matters as more important than did the females. The findings highlight the importance of carefully considering the domains included in future research on identity formation, depending on variables such as socioeconomic and sociocultural characteristics of the specific research groups to be included in the investigation. 2 tables and 41 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Cultural influences; Foreign criminal justice research; Self concept; South Africa
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