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The Enduring Usefulness of Erikson's Concept of the Identity Crisis in the 21st Century: An Analysis of Student Mental Health Concerns

Côté, James E.

Identity. Volume 18:Number 4 (2018, October 2nd); pp 251-263 -- Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

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  • Title:
    The Enduring Usefulness of Erikson's Concept of the Identity Crisis in the 21st Century: An Analysis of Student Mental Health Concerns
  • Author: Côté, James E.
  • Found In: Identity. Volume 18:Number 4 (2018, October 2nd); pp 251-263
  • Journal Title: Identity
  • Subjects: Identity (Psychology)--Periodicals; Individuality--Periodicals; Personality development--Periodicals; Dewey: 155.2
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Publication Details: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
  • Abstract: ABSTRACT:

    Identity: Youth and Crisis provides a compilation of Erikson's most insightful observations of the various types of identity crisis and their impact. Although his general writings about identity fueled much empirical research, Erikson did not feel this research captured the complexities of the concept, and he remarked that its meaning was morphing in ways he never intended. Indeed, many of his explicit characterizations of the identity crisis have not been operationalized in most neo-Eriksonian frameworks. In this article, I reconstruct Erikson's model of the identity crisis in its various forms and manifestations and then apply this model to the current "student mental health crisis." Based on his warnings that the psychiatric model can inappropriately label certain crisis-related behaviors as disorders, I argue that he would have diagnosed many of the stress reactions reported by contemporary students as representing developmental difficulties associated with moderate to severe identity confusion created by person–context adjustments.


  • Identifier: System Number: ETOCvdc_100071611315.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1528-3488; 10.1080/15283488.2018.1524328
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): 4362.450050
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100071611315.0x000001

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