Who Do You Want to Be Like? Factors Influencing Early Adolescents’ Selection of Accessible and Inaccessible Role Models

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Title: Who Do You Want to Be Like? Factors Influencing Early Adolescents’ Selection of Accessible and Inaccessible Role Models
Authors: Strasser-Burke, NoraSymonds, Jennifer
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11339
Date: 14-Oct-2019
Online since: 2020-04-07T11:49:29Z
Abstract: This study investigates the impact of accessible and inaccessible role models on early adolescents’ conceptions of their identities. Accessible role models have regular direct interactions with adolescents, while inaccessible role models like celebrities do not. This investigation was based within the context of a broader educational intervention targeting educational resilience of school students by prompting them to interact with material drawn from outstanding Irish career role models. Data were collected by interviewing 15 students and analyzing the transcripts thematically. Results revealed that adolescents mostly selected role models perceived as emotionally available, relatable, and successful, within proximal contexts. These accessible role models gave adolescents behavioral cues on overcoming difficulties and attaining success. Adolescents selected inaccessible role models to scaffold future selves, based on how the role models’ life stories connected personally to their lives. This signals how adolescents select and use different types of role models in their identity formation.
Funding Details: Irish Research Council
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: SAGE
Journal: Journal of Early Adolescence
Volume: 40
Issue: 7
Start page: 914
End page: 935
Copyright (published version): 2019 the Authors
Keywords: IdentityRole modelsAdolescenceSocial disadvantageInterviews
DOI: 10.1177/0272431619880619
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0272-4316
Appears in Collections:Education Research Collection

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