Age: Adolescence --12 to 18 years
Conflict: Identity vs. Role Confusion
Important Event: Peer relationships
At this stage, adolescents are in search of an identity that will lead themto adulthood. Adolescents make a strong effort to answer the question "Whoam I?" Erikson notes the healthy resolution of earlier conflicts can nowserve as a foundation for the search for an identity. If the child overcomesearlier conflicts they are prepared to search for identity. Did they develop thebasic sense of trust? Do they have a strong sense of industry to believe inthemselves?
The adolescent must make a conscious search for identity. This is built onthe outcome and resolution to conflict in earlier stages.
If the adolescent can not make deliberate decisions and choices, especiallyabout vocation, sexual orientation, and life in general, role confusion becomesa threat.
Adolescents attempt to establish their own identities and see themselves asseparate from their parents.