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Erikson's Psychosocial Stages

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Lisa Renfrow

on 26 August 2015

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Transcript of Erikson's Psychosocial Stages

Is it OK to be me? Toilet Training, Clothing Themselves
Virtue: Will
Though one part of the dilemma sounds negative, it is important and needs to be integrated.
Virtue: Hope
Trust vs. Mistrust Infancy, 0-2 years
Mother Can I Trust the World? Feeding, Abandonment
Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt Toddler, 2-4 Years
Each stage has a crisis, taking the form of a dilemma

The first stage of Erik Erikson's theory centers around the infant's basic needs being met by the parents and this interaction leading to trust or mistrust. The infant depends on the parents, especially the mother, for sustenance and comfort. If the parents expose the child to warmth, regularity, and dependable affection, the infant's view of the world will be one of trust. Should the parents fail to provide a secure environment and to meet the child's basic needs; a sense of mistrust will result. Development of mistrust can lead to feelings of frustration, suspicion, withdrawal, and a lack of confidence.

Thursday, August 28, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst.
Erik Homburger Erikson (15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994)
Is it OK for Me to Do, Move, and Act?
Virtue: Purpose
Initiative vs Guilt Preschool, age 4-5 years
Initiative adds to autonomy the quality of undertaking, planning and attacking a task for the sake of just being active and on the move. The child is learning to master the world around them, learning basic skills and principles of physics. Things fall down, not up. Round things roll. They learn how to zip and tie, count and speak with ease.
Guilt is a confusing new emotion. They may feel guilty over things that logically should not cause guilt. They may feel guilt when this initiative does not produce desired results.
If parents and preschool teachers encourage and support children's efforts, children develop initiative- independence in planning and undertaking activities. But if, instead, adults discourage the pursuit of independent activities or dismiss them as silly and bothersome, children develop guilt about their needs and desires.
Erikson's Psychosocial Stages

Erikson’s (1959) theory of psychosocial development has eight distinct stages.

As the child gains control over eliminative functions and motor abilities, then they begin to explore their surroundings. The parents still provide a strong base of a security from which the child can venture out to assert their will. The parents' patience and encouragement helps foster autonomy in the child.

At this age children develop their first interests. For example, a child who enjoys music may like to play with the radio. Children who enjoy the outdoors may be interested in animals and plants. Highly restrictive parents, however, are more likely to instill in the child a sense of doubt, and reluctance to attempt new challenges. They begin to feed themselves, wash and dress themselves, and use the bathroom.
Industry vs Inferiority Elementary, 5-12 years
Can I Make it in the World of People and Things?
Virtue: Competence
What is an Existential question?
Interesting Fact......

Erikson coined the term "identity crisis."

Youth is a turning point in human development that seems to be the reconciliation between 'the person one has come to be' and 'the person society expects one to become'.
Identity vs. Role Confusion Teens, 13-19 years

Who Am I and What Can I Be?
Virtue: Fidelity
Each stage that came before and that follows has its own 'crisis', but even more so now, for this marks the transition from childhood to adulthood.
The emerging sense of self will be established by 'forging' past experiences with anticipations of the future. In relation to the eight life stages as a whole, the fifth stage corresponds to the crossroads.
What is unique about the stage of Identity is that it is a special sort of synthesis of earlier stages and a special sort of anticipation of later ones. Youth has a certain unique quality in a person's life; it is a bridge between childhood and adulthood. Youth is a time of radical change—the great body changes accompanying puberty, the ability of the mind to search one's own intentions and the intentions of others, the suddenly sharpened awareness of the roles society has offered for later life.
Erikson viewed the elementary school years as critical for the development of self-confidence. Ideally, elementary school provides many opportunities for children to achieve the recognition of teachers, parents and peers by producing things- drawing pictures, solving addition problems, writing sentences, and so on.
If children are encouraged to make and do things and are then praised for their accomplishments, they begin to demonstrate industry by being diligent, persevering at tasks until completed, and putting work before pleasure. If children are instead ridiculed or punished for their efforts or if they find they are incapable of meeting their teachers' and parents' expectations, they develop feelings of inferiority about their capabilities.
Intimacy vs. Isolation Young adulthood, 20-39 years
Can I Love?
Virtue: Love
At the start of this stage, identity vs. role confusion is coming to an end, though it still lingers at the beginning of the stage. Young adults are still eager to blend their identities with friends. They want to fit in.

Once people have established their identities, they are ready to make long-term commitments to others. They become capable of forming intimate, reciprocal relationships (e.g. through close friendships, marriage, and children) and willingly make the sacrifices and compromises that such relationships require. If people cannot form these intimate relationships – perhaps because of their own needs – a sense of isolation may result.
Generativity vs. Stagnation Middle adulthood, 40-64 years

Existential Question: Can I Make My Life Count?

Virtue: Care
During middle age the primary developmental task is one of contributing to society and helping to guide future generations. When a person makes a contribution during this period, perhaps by raising a family or working toward the betterment of society, a sense of generativity- a sense of productivity and accomplishment- results. In contrast, a person who is self-centered and unable or unwilling to help society move forward develops a feeling of stagnation- a dissatisfaction with the relative lack of productivity.
Ego Integrity vs. Despair Late adulthood, 65-death

Existential Question: Is it OK to Have Been Me?

Virtue: Wisdom
As we grow older and become senior citizens we tend to slow down our productivity and explore life as a retired person. It is during this time that we contemplate our accomplishments and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life. If we see our life as unproductive, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness.

The final developmental task is retrospection: people look back on their lives and accomplishments.
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