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Psychosocial Development With Examples

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1

Erikson was a stage theorist who took the controversial theory of Freud’s psychosexual development and modified it as a psychosocial theory. Erikson emphasized that ego makes positive contributions to the development by mastering ideas, attitudes and skills at every stage of development. This mastery helps individuals to grow into successful contributing personality of the society. The eight stages of the Erikson’s psychosocial development shows psychological conflicts that has to be successfully overcome for developing children into a well-adjusted, healthy adult. The eight stages of Erikson’s psychosocial development, is based on the psychosexual theory of Freud. Erikson proposed that humans feel motivated by the thought f achieving competitive advantage in certain stages of life. According to the theory, human experience eight stages of development in their entire life starting from infancy to late adulthood. In every stage of development, there is a crisis that needs to be solved. Effective completion of every development task helps in competency and in growing a healthy personality. Not able to master these tasks leads to inadequacy.

Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial Development:

 Erikson discussed the cultural implications of development along with the various stages of development of human from infancy to late adulthood. According to the needs of the survival and culture, the crisis in the eight stages needs to be solved. The eight stages are:

  • Trust versus Mistrust- From the age of 12 months, infants should learn that adults can be trusted. This only happens when adults meet the requirement of the child for its survival. Infants are highly dependent upon their birth-givers and hence the birth-givers can grow the trust factor in these infants. Unresponsive caretakers lead to anxiety, fear and mistrust of the infants.
  • Autonomy versus Shame/Doubt- The main task of a toddler is to resolve the crisis of autonomy versus shame in order to establish independence. They start to show clear preferences for certain elements of the environment like toys, food and clothing.
  • Initiative versus Guilt- Pre-school children should resolve the crisis related to initiative and guilt by planning and in turn achieving the goals by interacting with other school mates. A sense of responsibility and ambitions grows in them when the parents let their children explore in different fields and aspects of life.
  • Industry versus Inferiority- Between the age 6 years to 12 years, children face the crisis of industry versus inferiority. Children start comparing themselves with their fellow mates to see their current position. They develop a sense of accomplishments and pride in their sports, social activities and schoolwork and even in their family life. They also grow inferiority complex because of sheer competition and by feeling of  not measuring up with others.
  • Identity versus Role confusion- In adolescence children faces the major problem of identity versus role confusion. According to Erikson, the main task of the children is to develop a sense of own self.
  • Intimacy versus Isolation- People in their early stage of adulthood, face this problem of intimacy versus isolation. After the stage of identity, people enter the stage where they are ready to share their lives with other peers. If the crisis of the initial stages of the lifecycle is not resolved, individuals will face major problem in this stage.
  • Generativity versus Stagnation- This stage comes in  the life of an individual at the age of 40 as they enter middle adulthood. The main task of this age is generativity and stagnation. Generativity includes finding the work for sustaining the life and in turn contributing to others’ development through various activities like mentoring, raising children and volunteering.
  • Integrity versus Despair- From the age of 60 to the end of life, individuals are in the stage of development that is called as late adulthood. According to Erikson, at this stage, the task of human is called integrity versus despair. People in their late adulthood, either feels satisfied with their journey or a sense of failure. People feel proud and content by their accomplishments, which gives them a sense of integrity. People who are not successful even at this age, they feel that their life have been wasted.


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