“Who am I?”
Most of us have asked ourselves the question “Who am I?” at one point or another in our lives. Coon, Mitterer, and Martini (2019) discuss the difficulties teenagers face in establishing their own identity: “Many problems stem from the unclear standards about the role adolescents should play within society” (p. 110). Our text also explains that teenagers experience ambiguity, or unclear interpretations when defining their roles. This adds to their confusion of a clear and solid sense of self.
More and more often we are seeing cases presented in the media about teens who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying and cyberbullying (Wang, 2016). Coon, Mitterer, and Martini (2019) have argued that adolescence is a tumultuous time. However, Karen Horney’s theory explains that basic anxiety occurs because we live in a hostile world. An example is Wang’s report of a suicide by a 13-year-old girl in response to racial and social prejudice against perceived sexual orientation.
1. How much does emotional turbulence versus social hostility count as an explanation for teen suicide? Or is it a combination of the two?
2. Drawing upon Kohlberg’s theory of stages of moral development, Gilligan’s theory of caring, and Erikson’s psychosocial stages theory, discuss reasons why an adolescent might turn to suicide. Then, using one of these theories, suggest how to help a teen who has been a victim of bullying.