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Posted on October 9th, 2012, by

I believe Thomas and Chess’ findings are very important for understanding the process of the formation of an individual identity. At the same time, I am rather more inclined to the socially-oriented approach to the personal development. In fact, Thomas and Chess reveal the existing interdependence between the character of an individual in the childhood and adult life. On the other hand, they also notice the impact of parents on the formation of the character of an individual and his or her identity. In this regard, I agree that the character of an individual can be and is influenced by parents and those inclinations and models of behavior an individual has learned since childhood.

However, it seems to me as if Thomas and Chess underestimate the influence of the social environment on the development of the character of an individual what is meant here is the fact that, in my opinion, the social environment should be viewed larger than the family of a child. For instance, a child constantly interacts with his or her peers, educators and other adults, who definitely influence the personal development of an individual. Therefore, I assume that an individual’s character can change and evolve in the course of the personal development not only under the impact of parents, but also other people. For instance, in adolescence, parents definitely play secondary role to children compared to peers, while adolescence is a period when the character of an individual keeps shaping.

In such a way, I believe that Thomas and Chess’ revelation of the interdependence of an individual character in childhood and adult life helps better understand the development of an individual character, but it is also important to take into consideration the impact of the social environment of an individual.

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