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Character Assessment

Character Assessment
Adolescence is a time in which teenagers physically, intellectually, and emotionally become
more adult-like (Feldman, 2011). Erikson, Marcia, and Gilligan all have models that
describe their theories of identity development. Think of a teenage character you are
familiar with from a book or TV show and the issues he/she faced as they explored the
questions, “Who am I?” and “Where Do I Fit In?”. Examples to use might include the
characters from Harry Potter; Glee; or That 70s Show; Bethany Hamilton, (the main
character in Soul Surfer); Tom Sawyer, Elizabeth Bennet, or a character
PSY 3150, Developmental Psychology 6
you are familiar with. Use one of the above models and describe how this character came to
terms with their self-concept and self-esteem. Make sure to identify your character and
give a brief background about him/her. Use specific examples about the character to
support your ideas. Identify and describe any other issues this character faced that have
been discussed in Unit V. Your assessment of the character you choose should be two to
three pages using APA format. Make sure to cite the reference(s) you use.

Character Assessment

From a sociological perspective, adolescence can be described as the period during which an
individual transitions from childhood to adulthood and this is often confined between the ages of
11 and 20 years. According to Feldman et al (2011), this decade will tend to encompass three
stages of adolescence. The first of these stages is early adolescence which goes until age 14. The
next stage is middle adolescence which falls between the ages of 14 and 18. The third and final
stage is known as late adolescence which is between age 18 and 20. The development of
adolescents through this stages is not however cast in stone as other variables also have a
profound effect on the process. These variables are biological factors as well as the socialization
the individual teenager is exposed to.

To illustrate this process, a fictional teenage character ‘Harry Potter’ of the JK Rowlings’series
of books “The Harry Potter Series” will be analyzed. The reason why this character is being
analyzed is because the depiction of this role takes a comprehensive look at his life, experiences
and personality from the time he is a child until he becomes an adult. Harry is an orphaned child
who was left at an early age in the care of his relatives who treat him poorly. He is however a
wizard and the fact that he survived an attack by Lord Voldermot makes him easily attract
trouble to not just himself but also those he loves. With a limited number of adults who he can
look up to, Harry is often left to his own devices as he tries to survive the cruel existence that is
his life.
Harry’s transition into adolescence is similar to that of a teenager who is forced to take up heavy
responsibilities at an early age. This is because it quickly dawns on him that he is alone in this
world. As a result of this, Harry’s moral compass is largely guided by what he believes is right or
wrong. While other teenagers his age may still be enjoying their childhood, Harry has to take up
a variety of challenges. This leads him to have a range of leadership qualities which make him
quite influential among his friends Ron and Hermione.
Feldman et al (2011) also point out the fact that adults will tend to treat adolescents as people
who se actions exist on one of the two extremes. Harry’s foster family for instance only see the
worst in him and as a result they judge him very harshly. Hagrid,a teacher at Hogwarts and
Harry’s friend tends to see his immense potential and capacity to overcome the odds stacked
against him. Hagrid’s view of Harry is clearly seen when the teenager is forced to combats forces
that are well beyond the capacity of some of the more experienced Wizards in Hogwarts.

Harry’s lack of concern for his own safety and that of others is another indication of the
adolescent development process. This leads him to occasionally break the rules that wizardry
students are meant to abide by. This is seen when he invokes the ‘Patronas spell’ to protect
himself and his friends from a group of bullies. This shows his initiative in taking responsibility
and risks despite the fact that it landed him in trouble. This is a clear example of his transition
from childhood to adulthood. He not only took responsibility but also bore the consequences of
his actions.

Feldman, S. S., & Elliott, G. R. (Eds.). (2011). At the threshold: The developing adolescent.
Harvard University Press.

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