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Identity Formation

  1. Kathleen McKinney

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0432

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

McKinney, K. 2010. Identity Formation. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Wyoming

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


There are numerous theoretical approaches that illuminate certain areas of identity development (e.g., Kagan's constructive-developmental approach or Blos's object relations approach), but Erik Erikson's 1968 psychosocial approach to human development appeals to many professionals because of its utility in many professional arenas, including clinical, theoretical, and empirical. Erikson's seminal work stressed the importance of history (personal and societal) and social contexts in influencing individuals' lives, and he incorporated these ideas into his concept of identity formation in adolescence.


  • ego identity;
  • psychosocial stage in adolescence;
  • identity development;
  • identity process;
  • self exploration