Personality and Identity

• Theories of identity and personality development and how they inter-relate.
• Genetic influences on the development of identity and personality.
• The influence of the environment on the development of identity and personality.
• Evaluation of the relative influence of genetic and environmental influences on the development of identity and personality.
In this essay I will examine the contribution genetic and environmental forces have on the development of personality.   I will be focusing specifically on one particular individual with whom I have experience of working with during my placement. It is an essay requirement that the individual in this case study should remain anonymous, so I will refer to the individual as Roy (not his real name) – who is a seventeen year old male. My placement was in an organisation that runs a hostel for homeless young adults, but the individual in my case study is actually in the adolescence stage of the development life cycle.
Nature plays a significant role in the development of personality by providing distinctions of identity, most tellingly through sex and race.

Developmental psychology moved away from nature versus nurture debate and now recognises the contributions each play in human development.   A good example highlighting the inter relation of this would be to look at the human stress hormone cortisol and how environmental exposure to stressful situations actually alters the biological chemistry of the brain. . “High levels of stress may physically scar a child's brain, a study suggests. US scientists discovered a brain structure involved with memory and emotion had shrunk in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” -(

Unanticipated life event: homelessness, being taken into care
Unmet needs
Hopelessness depression
Environmental impact on development: Social strata
Life event Homelessness