James Marcia’s four identity statuses

October 19, 2009 at 1:06 pm (Uncategorized)

Much to do withe evolution of morality comes one of the major stages in life. James Marcia thought the occurrence of identity crisis and exploration and the development of personal commitments can combine into four possible identity statuses (in the order of increase of maturity):

  1. Identity diffusion: the status of individuals who have not yet experienced a crisis or made any commitments. Not only are they undecided about occupational and ideological choices, they are also likely to show little interest in such matters.
  2. Identity foreclosure: the status of individuals who have made a commitment but not experienced a crisis. This occurs most often when parents hand down commitments to their adolescents, usually in an authoritarian way, before adolescents have had a chance to explore different approaches, ideologies, and vocations on their own.
  3. Identity moratorium: the status of individuals who are in the midst of a crisis but whose commitments are either absent or are only vaguely defined.
  4. Identity achievement: the status of individuals who have undergone a crisis and made a commitment.

In his view, adolescents often struggle with questions such as “Who am I?” and “Where am I going in life?” These are often the kinds of questions that leads one to religion in search of meaning and purpose.


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