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The Way Teens and Adults Define Themselves

The way we see ourselves changes as we grow older and experience more of the world. As we mature, we become more attuned and settled with our identity, more or less.

In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Reading led by Emily Hards, they wanted to know exactly how teenagers see themselves, what their self-concept or self-image is, and how that affects their construction of the self.

In all, the participants provided 6,558 self-descriptions or self-images. After removing any redundancy, the researchers calculated that the teens came up with 443 different ways of describing themselves.

Overall, researchers found that teenagers often described themselves in terms of their traits and personal characteristics which they say is consistent with how teenagers are still building up or developing their self-image.

They compared these results with those from a previous study of young adults. They found that these adults associated themselves more with their social roles rather than traits.

(Image credit: Raw Pixel/Pexels)


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Makes sense. A teenager is just becoming aware of traits that make them different from others, while older people have lived and experienced social roles- mother, teacher, scout leader, school board member, husband, supervisor, entrepreneur, church officer, caregiver, etc etc.
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