Question

Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg described several cognitive, social, and moral reasoning stages of adolescence. Explain each of the following stages. • Concrete operational • Formal operational • Identity versus role confusion • Intimacy versus isolation • Conventional level • Postconventional level

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Piaget (Cognitive)

-Concrete operational (~7-11 years old): During the concrete operational stage, children begin to understand and communicate using words and images. They have an intuitive understanding of the workings of physical objects and can perform basic mathematical transformations..

-Formal operational (~12+): Upon reaching the formal operational stage, adolescents can engage in abstract reasoning and more complex mathematical operations. The ability to imagine hypothetical situations and consequences also leads to more sophisticated moral reasoning during this stage.

Erikson (Psychosocial)

-Identity vs. role confusion (early- to mid-adolescence): The primary task for adolescents is to find a sense of identity. Those who succeed integrate their various roles and relationships into a stable identity, while those who fail are left in a state of “role confusion.”

-Intimacy vs. isolation (late adolescence to early adulthood): The primary task for budding adults is building meaningful relationships. If one does not find intimacy with romantic partners and close friends during this stage, one will struggle with feelings of isolation.

Kohlberg (Moral)

-Conventional moral reasoning (early adolescence): Conventional moral reasoning is dictated by social concerns and rule-following.

-Postconventional moral reasoning (adolescence and adulthood): Postconventional moral reasoning is based on abstract concepts of truth and justice.

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