Teens and tweens are subject to an identity moratorium. To discover one’s true identity, people go through a time of looking for their profession, religious or ethnic origins, or any other aspect of their identity. In their drive to discover who they are, teens and tweens are experiencing an identity crisis.
The Signs of an Identity Crisis
Individuals usually test out a wide range of possibilities amid an identity hiatus. Exemplifying this would include, for instance, going to several styles of churches. They may have been reared Catholic but now attend a Protestant church. In other circumstances, they may do so without a particular focus on a particular method. People in a moratorium are experiencing an “identity crisis,” in other words.
Numerous psychologists believe that an individual needs to go through a moratorium period to develop an authentic sense of self (a state called identity achievement).
When Identity Moratoriums Usually Occur.
Identity moratoriums are typical throughout the late tween and adolescent years when people try to figure out “who they are.” This is a normal element of growing up and developing one’s personality.
Someone who grew up in a mixed-race, atheist, and apolitical household may first set out on a mission to discover her actual race. Given their mixed ancestry, they may not have given much thought to whether or not they were Japanese or English while growing up in a mostly white neighborhood. During adolescence, they may begin to take an interest in learning about their Japanese origin, reading books about it, and studying the Japanese language.
Any moment in life can be a moratorium on one’s identity. Political, ethnic, or cultural identity moratoriums are common but tend to occur at various times for each form of identification. Rarely do we experience many crises of identity at the same time.
In their late teens, this individual might also begin to show an interest in religion, perhaps spurred on by the fact that they grew up in a household where no one practiced any sort of religion at all. They can examine various religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism when ready. They can follow in their parents’ footsteps and join a certain religion, or they can choose to remain atheists.
She may get interested in political activism while she is in college. She may graduate from college a fervent lefty angry at her parents’ lack of interest in current events.
At various points throughout her adolescence and early adulthood, this person experimented with various parts of her identity. She had arrived at the pinnacle of her growth at that point.