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Phase or status of individual who has not resolved identity issues.
This is a phase or status defined by James Marcia describing the avoidance, apathy and overwhelm often associated with identity development. The adolescent is avoiding or lacks the volition to explore alternatives of self in the world. Example of high school senior experiencing identity diffusion “I haven’t really thought much about what I want to do when I get out high school.”
Relevance to Childhood Development
This is part of the identity development process that is characterized as avoiding uncomfortable feelings and exploration in the world. The result retards identity development and psychological adjustment.