Role play as a means of development of role identity in late adolescence
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
The article touches upon the problem of role identity in the context of late adolescence. In the framework of the research role identity is perceived as socio-personality and socio-cognitive construct, in which personality, cognitive and social components are integrated and mediated, thus the study of role identity in adolescence gives the opportunity to trace the profound connections between transformations which occur within personality and the changes that take place in the teenager’s social situation of development. The idea is put forward that role identity in late adolescence is characterized by the presence of inner role conflict which represents the contradiction between the teenager’s imaginary and actual role behavior. It is argued that a specially designed role play can be used as a tool of development of role identity and become an effective means of overcoming the inner role conflict in late adolescence. The conception is illustrated by the results of an empirical study that was carried out in three different schools in Moscow, Russia, among approximately one hundred teenagers. The study included four series of role plays elaborated by the author. The role plays were aimed at the development of teenagers’ role identity, particularly at the improvement of their role reflection.
Keywords: role identity, inner role conflict, role play, role reflection, competition, role experimentation.