The Ongoing Search For Her Identity

by alexiac321 on March 14, 2014 - 4:49pm

Alexia Codrington                                                                                  Blog Research 1

                                    The Ongoing Search For Her Identity

         Identity shapes a teenager’s sense of who she is her role in society, her behavior, and relationships. Friends serve as important figures for each other during the identity development process and as they grow into adulthood. Many urban African American girls suffer with developing their identity due to losing friends at an early age due to homicide. This experience may significantly shape a girl’s sense of self and her decisions in life. According to this study, loss of a friend to murder may effect identity development in young women. The study uses twenty-one urban African American girls who have experienced a loss and examines how factors such as gender, religion, and race play a role in their identity development. According to the article, the developing one’s identity can be a difficult process for young African American women because of their stereotypical representations in society.

            The key concepts we need to understand in this article are that the development of a girl’s identity is deeply related to race and gender. Also, in dealing with the loss of a friend, urban African American girls must cope with this along with the added stress of growing up in an urban society, where they may not be accepted. Teen girls who participated in the study felt detached from society and experienced distrust, avoidance, and helpless behaviors. As an African American woman, coping with the loss of a friend contributes to the pressure of growing up in an urban society. Most girls found it difficult to deal with the internal anxiety and stress of dealing with death because they lack a support system and are forced to face the situation alone. The results of the study show that urban African American girls suffer more than any other racial group in developing identity when faced with death of a friend. Factors such as setting, race, and gender contribute to a girl’s understanding of her identity.



Johnson, M.C. (2014). The Loss of Friends to Homicide and the Implications for the Identity Development of Urban African American Teen Girls. Clinical Social Work Journal, Volume 42 (Issue 1) pp.27-40. Retrieved from|A358091994&docType=GALE&role=


This article proves another point to the subject I’m writing about in an essay I’m working on, which is treatment for mental issues or just issues in general that may lead to mental disorders in the future. As you said, these African American girls lack support and resources to get through their problems and have to face them alone, which is the case for many other girls and boys too. I think something that can help these girls is a method that has proven to be very effective and is drug-free: group therapy. It consists of a group of girls or boys, or both, who all share the same or similar problem, and they get together to share their stories in order to find comfort and understanding. I think this method needs to be brought to light to these poor girls, it could be key into finding out their identity, and that they are not alone.

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