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Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

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Renée Fong

on 7 March 2014

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Transcript of Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

Stage 4: School Age
From 5 years to 12 years of age.
Education has always been (and always will be) a major part of a child's life. Through schooling, children learn both academically and socially, and like in later years, they will, "develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities," as Erikson said.
Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development
by Renee Fong
Stage 1: Infancy
From conception to 1½ years of age
Stage 2: Early Childhood
From 1½ years to 3 years of age.
Stage 3: Preschool
Stage 6: Young Adulthood
From 18 years to 40 years of age.
Stage 7: Middle Adulthood
From 40 years to 65 years of age.
No one ever remembers their childbirth or early months of their lives, but the impact one's caregivers give is profound. Babies cannot meet nutritional needs by themselves, so they put faith into their caregivers to have themselves fed.
Building on from the previous stage, once a complete self-identity is made from the teenage years, it is important for humans to form intimate relationships.
With the end of the prime years, humans wonder how the world will fare without them and how much they can contribute to the world while they still can.
Autonomy: a big word that basically means freedom and independence — not-so-surprisingly, this is something that even young children strive for.
Once mistrust and shame is overcome, children need a sense of purpose. They need initiative, some intangible thing called
in life.
The care, reliability and unconditional love in everyone's fleeting first memories shape children's trust to the end of their lifetime.
For the key factor of mistrust...
Without such basic needs like food and care... children deprived do not learn to put faith, have hope, and reach out to their peers and parents.
...is neglect and apathy.
Children soon understand something most adults have: self-confidence and self-control. To get that, they realize, they need to become independent!
However, if children receive that affection and reliability, the essentials of being fed and cared, they in turn will grow to love and trust the ones around them.
And once the children realize their cries land on deaf ears (or even

ears), mistrusts bears the fruit of fear for the people in and around them. Sometimes given food? Sometimes given care? They would believe that the world was a fearful, inconsistent and unpredictable place, and of course would never place trust in it.
They will feel at ease, happy and carefree, in the world around them.
Personal control is the first base they run for, and therefore, toilet training is essential. Understanding how their body functions gives them their first taste of self-confidence, realizing that (
) they can do it by themselves.
Sadly, if children cannot complete potty training and fail their goal, they watch those around them and feel inadequate in comparison. Doubt creeps into their mind and they make more mistakes, and like a never-ending cycle, failure after failure, shame colours their lives henceforth.
From 3 years to 5 years of age.
Stage 8: Maturity
From 65 years to death.
The final stage: where people, now elders, generally reflect back on their lives, laugh happily or cry despairingly, and ponder whether their life was well lived or misspent.
Stage 5: Adolescence
From 12 years to 18 years of age.
There is a whole genre in literature dedicated to the "coming-of-age," and rightly so, for this is the stage where children — teenagers — find their identity: who they are and who they want to be.
But risks must be taken. Children need to develop that sense of accomplishment or else they'll never gain self-confidence and security, never gain control over little things (food choice, toy preference, clothing selection, etc.) and, ergo, never gain the backbone for the impacting decisions in their lives.
Basically, children need to be certain that they have control, some power over the world around them, and therefore they try making up games (leadership through play) and developing friendships (social interaction).
Young children can assert such control and power over their environment simply by taking initiative and planning activities, accomplishing tasks and facing challenges.
Caregivers must be encouraging with their children's activities, and provide as many opportunities as possible to explore the world and make appropriate choices and decisions with whatever situation they find.
This stage is important, for if caregivers are discouraging or dismissive, as Erikson says, "[this] may cause children to feel ashamed of themselves," and will, in turn, make them, "overly dependent upon the help of others."
It's startling how imagination and play are so vital in this stage, and parents should be encouraged to allow children to take independent initiative.
If caregivers dismiss such small freedoms, children may jump to conclusions, believing their self-initiated efforts are some sort of embarrassment. Without any drive, no success can be born, and there won't purpose in their lives.
Like building blocks, tasks increase complexity during this schooling stage, and children gradually become even more capable, and ergo, their ambitions rise with their new skills.
Belief in their skills and a feeling of competence is nurtured when encouraged and praised for their accomplishments over various activities: reading, writing, drawing, and problem-solving to name a few.
Scarcely given encouragement from authoritative figures (or even
) will be detrimental to their self-confidence, and they will develop a sense of inferiority. Social and academic ability grow in difficulty, and children may feel like they're falling behind if not commended for their accomplishments.
Everyone goes through this time of self-discovery as they explore their freedoms, interactions and settings, and shape their personal identity. Teenagers try to explore the boundaries of society, feeling confused or insecure or "misunderstood" about what they want to do and be.
By experimenting with various roles, activities and behaviors of society, teens will be able to find their sense of self and purpose in their society, and ergo, where they will to go in life. With social relationships and interaction, they can come out of this stage knowing exactly who they are, and with proper encouragement and reinforcement, a confidence in who they will be.
However, if teens remain on shaky ground on their dreams and desires of the present, they will be unsure and insecure about themselves, and then their future will be obscured with this teenage identity crisis.
Likewise, if teens overcome their insecurities and develop their personal beliefs and identity, are commended for their coming-of-age, they will emerge from the adolescent stage, according to Erikson, with "...a strong identity and... a sense of direction in life."
Romantic relationships in particular are vital in this stage, through studies, it has been demonstrated that less committed relationships usually involve those with unstable identities.
These people are likely, according to Erikson, "[to] suffer emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression.
But if these intimate, loving affairs prosper, and the parties remain close and committed, this success brings forth a strong relationship.
Adults will want to leave a mark on the world, and what typically comes to mind are children. Through caring for young ones, nurturing those who will outlast them, adults will feel that they are still contributing something (some
) for the world.
Then again, some would rather strive to further their imagination and innovation — change instead of children. Adults may wish to contribute ideas to the world as a whole, accomplishing feats that would benefit generations to come so that the adults would know they had lead a meaningful life for their society.
Stagnation essentially means a state of inactivity, and sadly, there are those who don't find a way to contribute to the world, or don't even try. Individuals who failed in this stage may feel isolated from society and uninvolved with their community in general, feeling like an unproductive "lone wolf."
Those who realize their lives were unsuccessful or less-than-meaningful will reflect back on life and be distraught.
Bitterness and regret will colour their memories, and these individuals will despair over a wasted life and will not be able to confront death without anguish and tears.
Then, there are those who will look back, and be proud that they had lived a wonderful, fulfilling life. Individuals in this stage will feel integrity and satisfaction as they recollect their memories. Younger generations will look up to them for their wisdom on a life well-spent, and these elders will have little regret as they walk to death's doorstep.

Franklin P. Jones
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