Psychosocial Development Theory

The selected psychosocial development theory is Chickering’s theory of identity development that attempts to explain the process of identity development. The major focus of the theory was examining the identity development process for college students but has been applied in other areas too. The theory has seven tasks on psychological development that includes competence, managing emotions, interdependence, mature interpersonal relationships, identity, developing purpose, and developing integrity (Chickering, 1969). The discussion focuses on Jillian’s development journey and the issues she faced in defining herself, her path in life, and relationship with others.

Using theory to describe Jillian’s journey

Jillian suffered disappointment from rejection, but she was determined to move forward. She had several experiences in life that gave her the ability and confidence in herself to get through any aspect of life. According to Chickering’s theory, students ought to develop competence in manual, interpersonal, and intellectual aspects which are crucial in developing their identity (Chickering, 1969). Jillian required forming relationships with other students and her lecturers which she did as well as the ability to analyze and synthesize issues in her life. Another aspect of the theory is managing emotions. Jillian could not manage her emotions considering that she was not comfortable with the preferred college by her parents that made her vulnerable to peer influence. She could not manage to do the things other students did like partying as she felt uncomfortable with it. Autonomy towards interdependence is a key aspect of the theory and highlights the need to operate alone and take responsibility for one’s life. Jillian was not independent in her early stages in life, but after moving to New York, she experienced a lot that made her independent and realizes her potential. She also developed networks and realized her purpose in life that helped her to move on despite the disappointments.

Jillian’s decisions and choices

One significant Jillian’s decision was leaving California College and moving to New York for work. I consider the decision as crucial to her life since it enabled her to identify her identity as well learn how to be independent. According to Chickering’s theory, the establishment of identity is a process of discovering how experiences will satisfy oneself in a safe manner and also how one is perceived by others (Chickering, 1969). It results to contentment in one’s self and how others regard an individual. Jillian’s life would not have changed for the better had she not acted the way she did. The aspect of discovering one’s identity requires that individuals learn to be independent and make personal decisions on the course of their life.

The role of the environment in her developmental process
Jillian’s environment was helpful to her developmental process. Her family was crucial in shaping her culture, attitudes, and values that helped her to choose the right friends in college. The life in college introduced her to a lifestyle she was not fond of that went against her values. If she did not attend college, I think that her experiences would be rather similar in some aspects since her father could not allow her to stay at home and at the same time do against his will. As such, she could have searched for a job and stay away from home. Her encounters in the workplace would be crucial in shaping her life, but not as she experienced in New York. Jillian could change some aspects of her life if she had not enrolled in college, but it is apparent that she could not remain the same.

Helpful programs to Jillian in her first year
Hatch and Skipper (2014) provides important educational practices designed to support first-year students in their struggle with identity development that would be helpful to Jillian. She would learn from the experiences of others to ease her transition to College. She would also learn on college adjustment and the strategies of meeting college expectations.