The Development of Self
The development of “self” is a complex process that occurs throughout an individual’s life. It involves the integration of various cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of the individual’s experience.
In infancy, a sense of self begins to develop as the infant distinguishes between self and non-self. This is often referred to as the “sense of agency” and is related to the infant’s ability to control their movements and interact with their environment. As the infant grows, their sense of self becomes more differentiated and they begin to recognize themselves as separate individuals with their own unique characteristics and preferences.
During childhood, the development of self becomes more complex as the child begins to incorporate social and cultural factors into their understanding of themselves. Children learn to define themselves in relation to others and develop a sense of identity based on their social roles and relationships. They also begin to develop a sense of morality and internalize social norms and values.
In adolescence, the development of self becomes even more complex as the individual grapples with issues of personal identity and autonomy. Adolescents are often highly influenced by peer groups and social media, and may experience a great deal of pressure to conform to social norms and expectations. They also begin to explore their sexuality and develop romantic relationships, which can further shape their sense of self.
As individuals move into adulthood, their sense of self becomes more stable and integrated, but can still be influenced by ongoing social and cultural factors. The development of self is a lifelong process that continues to evolve as individuals experience new challenges and life events.
Overall, the development of self is a complex process that involves the integration of various cognitive, emotional, and social factors. It begins in infancy and continues throughout an individual’s life, shaping their understanding of themselves and their place in the world.