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The Quest

Adolescence is a period of life in which critical psychological and physiological changes occur. It is also the time when identity, "a unified sense of self characterized by attitudes, beliefs, and ways of acting that are genuinely one's own "(Insel, 1994), forms. The theory of Eric Erikson describes the psychological development of identity as a developmental stage in which "individuals are faced with finding out who they are, what they are all about, and where they are going in life."(Santrock, 1997) During this stage, adolescents are trying to find an answer to the question "Who am I?" and making important life choices, such as career, intimate commitments, or morality. The identity formation period isvery criticaland it will affect the individual throughout the adulthood. "If adolescent arrives at a positive path to follow in life, then a positive identity will be achieved; but if a positive future path is not defined, then identity confusion reigns." (Santrock, 1997)
I interviewed a 13 year old girl from a well educated family. The interview was done in the privacy of her house in her own room and took about 40 minutes. During the interview, the teen was asked to answer a list of questions and encouraged to use as much details as possible.Each answer was carefully recorded and evaluated.The questions I asked her targeted fundamental self aspects that build the feeling of identity. The interview examined the following aspects: role experimentation, self certainty, peer relationships, family relationships, sexual orientation, career, and leadership.
The girl I interviewed had a strong sense of uniqueness-she wants to be different and expresses herself colorfully.I found that appearance is very important, such as adoption of different fashions and "in" hair styles. Girls are very conscious of how they look. While admitti

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