When and how is the self acquired and what characterizes its development and change over the life span? What are the implications of using different methodologies to study the self with different age groups? This book addresses these and related questions.
The authors offer research on early and middle childhood, late childhood and adolescence, and adulthood and old age. Among the issues considered are the relationship between cognitive complexity and self-evaluation in childhood, the pivotal socio-emotional tasks that confront the adolescent, and effects of situational and structural factors on the self-esteem of adolescents and adults, and age and gender differences in the ideal and undesired selves of young and older adults. These contributions illustrate the different theoretical and methodological issues that are associated with differing stages of the life span and provide a summary of the current knowledge base of the self across the life span.
Unlike previous books on study of the self, this one provides a systematic analysis of the theoretical and methodological issues and a selection of several alternative methodologies for studying the self across the life span.
Richard P. Lipka is Professor and Director of the Center for Educational Service, Evaluation, and Research at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas. Thomas M. Brinthaupt is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They are coeditors of The Self: Definitional and Methodological Issues, also published by SUNY Press.
"The authors have provided clearly written and well balanced accounts of the problems and possibilities inherent in 'self' that have been explored through the life span. The book provides information that clarifies and more precisely defines the various aspects of 'self,' discusses refinements in self research designs, and explains what problems still need to be addressed. It extends many of these concepts to older age levels, which makes the book of major interest to a new group of professional readers." — Doris Bergen, Miami University