Stage 5 - Identity vs. Role Confusion

In the fifth stage of Erikson's theory of psychosocial development, the primary conflict is centered on achieving a sense of personal identity versus role confusion. Adolescents begin to question who they are, what is important to them, and what sort of person they want to be.

Adolescents that are successful in this stage emerge with a strong sense of self and a lasting ability to stay true to who they are. Those who are unsuccessful have a weak sense of personal identity and are confused about their place in the world.

Erikson believed that the quality of fidelity is the outcome of successfully completing this stage of development. Fidelity is the ability to hold to your beliefs and values in the face problems.