Diminishing egocentricity: a secondary analysis of longitudinal adolescent data
MetadataShow full item record
This study attempts to demonstrate the process of diminishing egocentricity, which appears to be central to the individual's evolving capacity to be in relation to the other, in the developing early-to-middle adolescent. It examines the widely accepted developmental theories that view egocentrism and cognitive maturation as being functions of subject-object differentiation. While egocentrism is acknowledged among developmental psychologists to occur, this study attempts to describe the still unarticulated understanding of the change process of diminishing egocentricity, its particular constitutive parts, their nature and function. As the field of developmental psychology has been by itself insufficient to the task of illuminating these processes, a psycho-philosophical mixed study is undertaken in a secondary analysis of A.C. Petersen's (1998) Adolescent Mental Health Study, 1978-1990 longitudinal data collected on early adolescents and followed-up in late adolescence and early adulthood. Existential phenomenology and G.W.F. Hegel's (1977) dialectical method inform the study's theoretical reframing of the problem of diminishing egocentricity in early-to-middle adolescence. The study utilizes CAQDAS, close reading method, grounded theory, and hermeneutical analysis to examine the narrative responses of 45 subjects to Petersen's (1998) study's Self-Image Questionnaire for Young Adolescents (SIQYA) in the qualitative analysis. The quantitative portion of the study makes use of Individual Growth Modeling (IGM) to analyze Petersen's (1998) full sample of SIQY A respondents as confirmation or refutation of the qualitative analysis. In addition to successfully arriving at a phenomenology of diminishing egocentricity that demonstrates the importance of a more authentic and integrated dialectical methodology than previously used in developmental research, the study's findings promote a critical retooling of concepts believed to be essential to our understanding of cognitive development generally and shown here to be relevant to diminishing egocentricity in particular, including abstract and concrete thinking qualities/capacities, object permanency, object relations, and subject-object-differentiation. The reframing of the current youth crisis in this more fully developed and unified theoretical (psychological/philosophical) system suggests that a greater emphasis on distinctively social experiential education/opportunities and skills-based activities in schools and therapeutic settings may provide one course for meaningful corrective action. Further study to create an integrated approach to experiential opportunities that promote social cognition is recommended.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston UniversityPLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.