Parental Perspectives

Although employment offers many learning opportunities, the most difficult task for young workers is managing the pressure. The pressure might be caused by tight job schedules, poor working environments, boring tasks, conflicts with other roles, and autocratic supervisors. All are great challenges to young people whose abilities and mentalities are still immature. Some parents want to protect their children from such pressures so they will not allow their children to work. Other parents do not allow their children to work because they believe that early employment and drug abuse are interrelated. Some might also be threatened by the reduction in parental authority that occurs when their children claim independence because of their ability to make money. In fact, when young people are free to work and use their incomes voluntarily, they also desire to have more independence in other areas. Clearly, working means independence. If parents believe their chil dren working is better than them staying at home, they are willing to accept this growing process of independence. The hardships of work are perceived to be positive mediators of the growing process.

Young workers in the stage of learning and working need guidance and assistance from their parents to resist the negative impacts of work. Parents should also monitor the problems their children face at work. Discussing with children their working abilities and attitudes and their personal finance arrangements could strengthen their outlook on work. Youths definitely need their parents to provide emotional support and suggestions of ways to handle the work experience during the adolescent years. In sum, parental supervision and limited working hours might be the best ways to prevent the negative impacts of youth employment.

See also: WORKING FAMILIES

Bibliography

Barling, Julian, and E. Kevin Kelloway. "Introduction." In Julian Barling and E. Kevin Kelloway eds., Young Workers: Varieties of Experience. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1999.

Erik Erikson extended psychoanalytic theory in several significant and important ways. (Psychology Archives, University of Akron)

Frone, Michael R. "Developmental Consequences of Youth Employment.'' In Julian Barling and E. Kevin Kelloway eds., Young Workers: Varieties of Experience. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1999.

Greenberger, Ellen, and Laurence Steinberg. When Teenagers Work: The Psychological and Social Costs of Adolescent Employment. New York: Basic, 1986.

Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. 1996 Population By-Census. Hong Kong: Government Printer, 1996.

Loughlin, Catherine, and Julian Barling. "The Nature of Youth Employment." In Julian Barling and E. Kevin Kelloway eds., Young Workers: Varieties of Experience. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1999.

Stone, James R., and Jeylan T. Mortimer. "The Effect of Adolescent Employment on Vocational Development: Public and Education Policy Implications." Journal of Vocational Behavior 53 (1998):184-214.

Worley, Linda P. ''Working Adolescents: Implications for Counselors.'' School Counselor 42 (1995):218-223.

Wing Ling Li

ERIKSON, ERIK (1902-1994)

Erik Erikson was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 15, 1902. At the age of twenty-five he accepted an invitation to educate children whose parents were studying with Sigmund Freud in Vienna. While in Vi enna Erikson underwent psychoanalysis with Freud's daughter Anna Freud and was trained in the psychoanalytic tradition. Because of the rise of fascism in Europe, he immigrated to the United States in 1933 and became the first child psychoanalyst in Boston. Erik-son held positions at Harvard University, Yale University, the University of California-Berkeley, and several other eminent institutions over the course of his career, despite the fact that he had no formal academic training beyond high school.

Erikson was trained as an orthodox psychoanalyst, but he extended psychoanalytic theory in several significant and important ways. In contrast to Freud's approach, in which personality was formed and relatively fixed at the age of five, Erikson took a lifespan approach to personality development, assigning importance to individuals' lives after early childhood. Erikson divided the development of personality into eight stages over the lifespan, with each stage characterized by its own crisis and two possible outcomes: (1) trust vs. mistrust; (2) autonomy vs. shame and doubt; (3) initiative vs. guilt; (4) industry vs. inferiority; (5) identity vs. role confusion; (6) intimacy vs. isolation; (7) generativity vs. stagnation; and (8) integrity vs. despair. According to Erikson, the conflicts in each stage arise because societal and maturational factors make new demands on an individual, and each conflict or crisis must be resolved before an individual is prepared to proceed to the next stage.

Erikson referred to the eight crises enumerated above as psychosocial stages of development, thereby emphasizing the important role that social and cultural factors play in personality development. This emphasis contrasted with Freud, who emphasized psychosexual development. Drawing upon his anthropological work with the Sioux and Yurok Indians as well as other groups, Erikson stressed that the sequence of the psychosocial stages was the same invariant across cultures, but the ways in which individuals from different cultures met each of the conflicts varied. Furthermore, Erikson highlighted the fact that the unique time and historical factors of the larger society also affected personality formation across the lifespan.

Further, Erikson argued that the main task for individuals in life was the quest for identity and not, as Freud believed, the defense against unpleasant tensions. Erikson placed the crisis of identity formation in the adolescent period, in which individuals must achieve an integrated understanding and acceptance of themselves in society. The achievement of identity formation was thought to be central to all subsequent stages of development.

In sum, Erikson's work has had a major impact on the field of developmental psychology. Despite the fact that many of his ideas have been difficult to test empirically, Erikson has influenced developmental-ists in several areas, particularly those interested in adolescent development.

See also: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT; THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT

Bibliography

Publications by Erikson

Childhood and Society. New York: Norton, 1950. Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: Norton, 1968.

Matthew J. Hertenstein

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