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Egocentrism in Adolescence

What You Need to Know About Egocentrism in Adolescence


Updated April 30, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Egocentrism in adolescence can have marked effects on children's thought and behavior. Here's some key information about egocentrism during the tween and teen years.

1. Definition of Adolescent Egocentrism

Adolescent egocentrism is a developmentally normal "cognitive deficit". Its effects on behavior can be unpleasant, but egocentrism in adolescence promotes healthy cognitive and psychosocial outcomes.

2. Egocentrism in Adolescence and The Imaginary Audience

One belief that arises out of adolescent egocentrism is the imaginary audience. Tweens and teens who believe in the imaginary audience tend to act in highly self-conscious ways.

3. The Personal Fable Arises From Egocentrism in Adolescence

Another belief that grows out of adolescent egocentrism is the personal fable. This belief can cause adolescents to act privileged and to take risks.

4. The Normality of Egocentrism in Adolescence

It can be disturbing to see your child acting increasingly egocentrically. Thankfully, though, egocentrism in adolescence is typically normative and healthy.

5. Signs of Egocentrism in Adolescence

It's helpful to know when your child is being affected by egocentric thought. Here are some ways you can tell if you tween or teen is egocentric.

6. Egocentrism in Adolescence Cannot be Skipped

While it may be tempting to want your child to skip right over an egocentric stage, it isn't best for his or her development. In fact, egocentrism in adolescence serves a very important purpose.

7. Certain Situations Elicit Adolescent Egocentrism

Some tweens and teens are at risk for having intense egocentric thinking. Gender, parenting style, identity seeking and transitions can all affect the degree of egocentrism in adolescence.

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