The objective of this review is to examine factors influencing African adolescents’ identity development. The review begins with defining identity and discuses major theories of identity development. Moreover, this review focuses on colonialism, globalization, media and other factors which are considered to influence youth identity development. The author has used the terms ‘adolescence’ and ‘youth’ interchangeably though they are not exactly synonymous. Identity development is the major developmental task during the time of adolescence including social identity formation. Africans are characterized by collective identity and they have indigenous cultural values and traditions. Despite this, African youth have been losing their cultural identity as a result of the influence of Western value. The old generation in Africa also seems to have ignored to socialize the young ones in line with African values and norms. This ignorance has paved way for young people to be attracted to western value systems and ignoring their own. Meanwhile, absence of contextualized school curricula and migration are also additional negative factors that lead African adolescents to be ignorant of their own culture and adhere to western values.
Key words: Adolescence, Africa, globalization, identity crisis, media, parenting style.
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