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psychosocial moratorium

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In ego psychology, a term introduced by the German-born psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson (1902–94) to denote a ‘time out of life’ during which a person can retain a fluid identity, such a period often being a feature of early post-adolescent life in modern industrial societies, when young adults can take time out by travelling, for example, before settling into more fixed identities constrained by work and relationships.

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