Intraindividual Variability in Self-Representations in Adolescence

Authored by: Scott D. Gest , Lauren E. Molloy , Nilam Ram

Handbook of Intraindividual Variability Across the Life Span

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415534864
eBook ISBN: 9780203113066
Adobe ISBN: 9781136285233


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The purpose of this chapter on self-concept development in adolescence is to review some major findings that have emerged from studies of normative developmental trajectories, to explain and provide an example of how an intraindividual variability perspective permits interesting new lines of research, and to identify key gaps in the existing literature and challenges in advancing research in this area. We use the terms self-concept and self-representations interchangeably to refer to the consciously acknowledged content of an individual’s self-knowledge, which is subject to self-reflection (see Diehl, Youngblade, Hay, & Chui, 2011; Harter, 1999). Self-concept is primarily descriptive in nature, which distinguishes it from constructs such as self-esteem and self-worth, which are primarily and explicitly evaluative.

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