personal identity

8 May 2017

Adolescence is an important period in the process of constructing personal identity, particularly at times of educational transition. One such transition occurs at the end of compulsory secondary education and it results in an important biographical assessment of the school career that the adolescent has pursued. One factor that appears to be fundamental in this career is the dynamic of human relations. Focusing our attention on students, we have examined their perceptions of this matter, shaped by their level of personal maturity and linked to their awareness of their identity status or style. A biographical- narrative approach was used with a sample of 121 students, using quantitative and qualitative techniques and instruments (EOM-EIS-II questionnaire, autobiographical accounts, interviews and discussion groups). We have observed differences in young people’s perceptions depending on their level of maturity. At the same time, by comparing their perceptions as a whole, we can see that their family (the main agent in the construction of their identity) and peer group, more than school, are the most highly valued areas. Quality educational processes appear to require careful interpersonal relationships, regardless of the areas in which they are developed. Corroborating various deficiencies in human relationships through adolescents’ perceptions alerts us to their importance. The need to find suitably contextualized models for convergence between the main areas in which our students develop is also shown. This study involves the identification of certain elements that play a role in advancing the process of achieving personal identity. These require attention if the development of personal maturity during the compulsory stages of our school system is to be improved.


Cite this article as: Bernal Guerrero, A. & König Bustamante, K. L. (2017). Percepciones de adolescentes sobre la educación según la identidad personal | Adolescents’ perceptions of education according to personal identity. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 75 (267), 181-198. doi: