Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2019

Who am I? The two important ingredients for identity formation

By Jessica Pierson Russo Young people try on identities like hats. They experiment with ways of dressing and talking, even trying out beliefs and values. This is completely normal. Yet the many dimensions of identity—race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.—can make forming an integrated identity complex. Nagaoka  defines an " integrated identity " as "a sense of internal consistency of who one is -- across time, place, and social realms." Having an integrated identity "provides a stable base from which a young person can act in the world." What role can youth programs play in helping young people form an integrated identity? There are two important ingredients: Developmental experiences and developmental relationships. Developmental experiences Experiences that support a young person’s developmental needs are those that allow youth to encounter new things, tinker with them, practice new skills, and make their own choices. Encountering