Identity crisis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In psychology, the term identity crisis means the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence. The term was coined by German psychologist Erik Erikson.

The stage of psychosocial development in which identity crisis may occur is called the Identity Cohesion vs. Role Confusion. During this stage, adolescents are faced with physical growth, sexual maturity, and integrating ideas of themselves and about what others think of them. Adolescents therefore form their self-image and endure the task of resolving the crisis of their basic ego identity. Successful resolution of the crisis depends on one's progress through previous developmental stages, centering on issues such as trust, autonomy, and initiative.

Erikson's own interest in identity began in childhood. Born Ashkenazic Jewish, Erikson felt that he was an outsider. His later studies of cultural life among the Yurok of northern California and the Sioux of South Dakota helped formalize Erikson's ideas about identity development and identity crisis. Erikson described those going through an identity crisis as exhibiting confusion.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Identity crisis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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