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Poster Communications Year : 2022

Vocational identity of adolescents with special needs in Mayotte


In psychology, adolescence is a specific and distinct period in the child development (Lannegrand-Willems, 2014). Vocational identity emerges and shapes itself. This vocational identity is even more distinct in France where the education system pushes adolescents to make career choices at a very early stage, even when they don’t necessarily have the developmental capacities to make these choices. Lannegrand developed the first french model of vocational identity for adolescents. But, when we work with adolescents with special needs, contextual variables should be included in the psychological model, along with a notion of process density and levels in order to improve the initial model. This presentation aim for a double objective : produce a literature review on the vocational identity of adolescents with special needs, study how the effects of contexts can improve a cultural meaning to the vocation notion. After a theoretical return on distinction between vocational identity is not a professional identity (Dubar, 2001, Ng and Feldman, 2007), determinant of the vocational identity for adolescent with special needs are presented. According to previous studies of Rodriguez-Tome and Bariaud (1987), and confirmed in recent studies, we know that adolescents with handicap (but also adolescents in a social context very poor) have a tendency to envisage fewer professional possibilities for the future. For Yanchak (2005), adolescents with intellectual disability have a limited decision-making power about their own career path, which depends on other people’s decision for them. With these first results, we can speak about an identity confusion for adolescents with intellectual disability (a specific vocational identity). Moreover, some dimensions are not present in the initial model of vocational identity for adolescents. Doren et al. (2005) show that the perception of career barriers and perception of social support impact the identity commitment and exploration. Studies of Jacques (2013, 2015) indicate a possible logical hierarchy between Erikson’ research and Guichard’ and Dubar’ model. She shows that “openness to forbidden spaces”, “selective optimization by compensation” and “concrete personal and professional experiences”, have a significant impact on vocational identity. Thus, it seems that the initial model must not only be adapted but probably thought of in a completely different way for the adolescent with special needs, focusing on a “constrained vocational identity adapted to the environment”. In the background, we taste if the vocational identity of adolescents with special needs is only an assimilation of social roles or a psychological milestone in their career path The MayMobPro project and the first results of an ethnographic survey in Localised Unity for school inclusion (ULIS) vocational high schools (Lefer Sauvage et Mercier, 2022) will be presented to test this new model of constrained vocational identity fitting the context of adolescent with special needs.
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Dates and versions

hal-03777971 , version 1 (15-09-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03777971 , version 1


Gaëlle Lefer Sauvage. Vocational identity of adolescents with special needs in Mayotte. Congrès international d’Actualité de la Recherche en Éducation et en Formation, Sep 2022, Lausanne, Switzerland. ⟨hal-03777971⟩
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