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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Ollech, D. McCarthy, J. (1997). Impediments to Identity Formation in Female Adolescents. Psychoanal. Psychol., 14(1):65-80.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 14(1):65-80

Impediments to Identity Formation in Female Adolescents

Dianne Ollech, PsyD and James McCarthy, Ph.D.

Forming a firm sense of identity is the developmental achievement of adolescence postulated by Erikson, but only recently has the subjective experience of female adolescents been thoroughly examined. It is our opinion that cultural, social, and psychological factors attenuate female identity formation and the development of ego strengths throughout girlhood. Girls tend to experience greater increases in anxiety, conflict, shame, self-doubt when faced with choice, and the lack of differentiation from the family and culture at large. Ego weaknesses and cultural pressures render girls' identity formation process more difficult and attained identity more tenuous. In this article, we summarize and explore important aspects of female psychology, including parenting arrangements, the impact of cultural and social forces, and female sexuality. We also discuss the normative psychological changes that occur in adolescence and their relevance for adolescent girls.

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