Erickson’s theory revised
Erickson’s Psychosocial Development Stages
Erickson’s psychosocial theory looks closely at the impact of external factors that a person has to go through from childhood to adulthood. According to the theory, every person has eight stages that they must go through over their entire life cycle. These stages are discussed below.
Basic Trust vs. Mistrust. This stage is mostly observed during infancy between 18 months and 2 years. When a baby is very well taken care of by the parents, the baby will grow with a lot of trust, confidence and will also feel very secure. If the care lacks, however, in the baby’s early years, they may develop general mistrust to the world and insecurity (Shaffer, David 43).
Autonomy vs. Shame. This stage occurs when the child is about 18 months to 3 years. A child gets the opportunity to build autonomy and build their self-esteem at this stage. He/she gets the opportunity to learn new skills and also get to know right from wrong. The child that was shown care will believe in himself/herself and will be confident rather than being shy. On the other hand, the child who faced negligence will be defiant, and stubbornness can appear.
Initiative vs. Guilt. This is the stage when the child is between 3 -5 years and is most likely in preschool (Greene, Roberta 96). This is when the child’s curiosity heightens and you find that they will ask lots of questions. They will also try to imitate the adults in one way or the other. The child that received care at infancy will always take roles that are positive while the other child might not have the confidence to take even ant roles. They underestimate themselves.
Industry vs. Inferiority. This stage is that of a school age child between 6-12 years. Learning, accomplishing new skills and acquiring knowledge are the main issues that take place during this stage (Greene, Roberta 94). It’s also when the child gets to develop socially. At this stage, the most important relationship to the child is with their school and neighborhood. Albeit parents are still important to them, they do not play the major role they once did.
Identity vs. Role Confusion. This stage is between 12-18 years. Development at this point depends entirely on what a person does. Adolescents try hard to identify themselves and get to struggle to fit in.
Isolation vs Intimacy and Solidarity. These are now the young adults of 18-35 years. Here, people begin looking for love and companionship. The most significant relationships at this stage are not those of neighborhood, parents, or even school but those of friends and marital partners (Shaffer, David 43).
Generativity vs. Self-absorption or stagnation. These are the middle-aged adults between 35-65 years (Shaffer, David 43). During this stage, the most important things are a career, work, and family. Working to be stable and trying to make a difference in the society is what this stage is all about. Family, the local church as well as other communities form important relationships for them.
Integrity vs. Despair. This stage is the late adult stage between 55 and 65–death. According to Erickson, much of life is preparatory for middle adulthood and late adulthood has a lot to do with reflection. Some older adults look back and appreciate themselves for having lived a meaningful life and having useful to the society (Greene, Roberta 96). At this point, there is a sense of despair for those who failed in their middle adulthood.
In conclusion, development continues throughout life, and each stage brings about a different societal difficulty that has to be resolved.
Greene, Roberta R. Human Behavior Theory & Social Work Practice. New Brunswick, N.J: Aldine Transaction, 2008. Print.
Shaffer, David R. Social and Personality Development. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
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