Erik Erikson 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development
Erik Erikson Stages of Development
Erik Erikson was a psychologist who developed one of the most popular and influential theories of development. His theory focused on psychosocial development rather than psychosexual development, which had been Erik’s focus as he took ideas from Sigmund Freud’s work to create his own version of psychoanalysis.
Eric Erikson, a father of developmental psychology, emphasizes that the ego makes positive contributions to development by mastering attitudes, ideas, and skills at each development stage. This mastery helps children grow into successful contributors to society.
Erik Erikson Stages of Development Ages: A Summary Chart
|Approximate Age||Virtues||Psychosocial crisis||Significant relationship||Existential question||hide
Under 2 years
|Hope||Trust vs. Mistrust||Mother||Can I trust the world?||Feeding, abandonment|
|Will||Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt||Parents||Is it okay to be me?||Toilet training, clothing themselves|
|Purpose||Initiative vs. Guilt||Family||Is it okay for me to do, move, and act?||Exploring, using tools or making art|
|Competence||Industry vs. Inferiority||Neighbors, School||Can I make it in the world of people and things?||School, sports|
|Fidelity||Identity vs. Role Confusion||Peers, Role Model||Who am I? Who can I be?||Social relationships|
|Love||Intimacy vs. Isolation||Friends, Partners||Can I love?||Romantic relationships|
|Care||Generativity vs. Stagnation||Household, Workmates||Can I make my life count?||Work, parenthood|
60 and above
|Wisdom||Ego Integrity vs. Despair||Mankind, My kind||Is it okay to have been me?||Reflection on life|
Erik Erikson 8 Psychosocial Stages of Development
Erik Erikson Trust vs Mistrust Age
The first stage of Erik Erikson’s theory centers around the infant and their basic needs being met by the parents or caregiver. This interaction leads to trust or mistrust, with an essential trustfulness in others and a fundamental sense of one’s own self-trustworthiness.
This stage begins at birth and lasts until 18 months when infants are uncertain about the world they live in and look to their primary caregiver for stability.
Erik Erikson Trust vs. Mistrust Example
Secure environment provided by the caregiver, with regular access to affection and food
Erikson Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt Age
The child’s exploration and sense of identity are guided by parental support. As they assert more control over their surroundings, parents can encourage them to explore without feeling too worried that something may happen.
As the child gains control over eliminative functions and motor abilities, they begin to explore their surroundings. Parents still provide a strong security base from which the child can venture out to assert their will. The parents’ patience and encouragement help foster autonomy in the child as they grow up with gradual independence from mom and dad’s supervision.
Erik Erikson’s theory argues that when caregivers encouraged self-sufficient behavior, children developed a sense of autonomy and a sense of handling many problems on their own.
But if caregivers demanded too much too soon, or refused to let children perform tasks of which they were capable, or ridiculed early attempts at self-sufficiency, children may instead develop shame and doubt about their ability to handle problems.
Erikson Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt Example
Caregiver promotes self-sufficiency while maintaining a secure environment
Erikson Initiative vs. Guilt Age
Kids in this stage are often little daredevils and will do some pretty risky things like riding bikes without a helmet or walking to the store by themselves.
When adults encourage and support children’s efforts while also helping them make realistic and appropriate choices, children develop initiative—independence in planning and undertaking activities.
But when, instead, adults discourage the pursuit of independent activities or dismiss them as silly and bothersome, children develop guilt about their needs and desires.
Children who are successful at stage three feel capable and able to lead others. However, the children who fail to acquire these skills are left with a sense of guilt, self-doubt, and lack of initiative.
Erikson Initiative vs. Guilt Example
Caregiver encourages, supports, and guides the child’s own initiatives and interests
Erikson Industry vs. Inferiority Age
In Erikson’s view, elementary school years are the foundation for self-confidence. Ideally, children should be given many opportunities to recognize teachers, parents, and peers by producing things–drawing pictures, solving addition problems, or writing sentences.
The act of choosing to do more activities in pursuit of interest is a delightful feeling, and it can be seen that children are starting now at this stage.
When they start recognizing their talents, children also begin to discover interests as they grow up. They may choose to pursue those interests by joining clubs or sports teams if they know they have a natural knack for them, but there is not enough time for these extra-curricular and they need to pick one or two things that will take up most of their free time.
If we encourage children to explore their own ideas and abilities, they will learn how to be industrious. If we do not give them this encouragement, the child begins to feel inferior and may never reach their potential.
If the child cannot develop the specific skill, they feel society is demanding (e.g., being athletic), then they may develop a sense of Inferiority.
Right now, there are people all over America who have been ostracized for something as basic and instinctual as not being able to throw a ball or kick a field goal as their father did.
Granted, these kids don’t know that he was drafted into college football from high school because his grades were lousy, but I’m sure it would make more of an impact if you told them this right before you dumped them on someone’s doorstep with a suitcase full of clothes and some money in their pocket.
Erikson Industry vs. Inferiority Example
Reasonable expectations set in school and at home, with praise for their accomplishments
Erikson Identity vs. Role Confusion Age
The fifth psychosocial stage takes place during the often-turbulent teenage years. This stage plays an essential role in developing a sense of personal identity, which will continue to influence behavior and development for the rest of a person’s life.
The adolescent’s obsession with his or her appearance is due to the sudden realization that others will notice them. The superego identity comes from an accumulated sense of confidence, which leads the person in a future direction. This is done by committing themselves to a career path and making plans for their future.
Though it might not be a topic that often occupies our thoughts, adolescence is vitally important to the transition into adulthood. Children are becoming more independent and thinking about future possibilities like what careers they want, who they’ll date or marry, where they will live.
These considerations all start to matter when you’re in your teens. Adolescents want to belong and feel part of society: fitting in with their peers is crucial.
Erikson Identity vs. Role Confusion Example
Individuals weigh out their previous experiences, societal expectations, and aspirations in establishing values and ‘finding themselves.’
Erikson Intimacy vs. Isolation Age
People in early adulthood (the 20s through early 40s) are concerned with intimacy vs. isolation. At this stage in Erikson’s theory, people are afraid of being turned down or their partners breaking up with them. Humans are familiar with pain, but rejection can be too much for some people to bear.
Erikson also argues that the output tone of voice should be more intimate to prevent a person from engaging in baseless accusations. Two individuals need to keep their exclusive relationship as private as possible to avoid being blamed for anything that may not have been their fault.
Erikson Intimacy vs. Isolation Example
Individual forms close friendships or long-term partnership
Erikson Generativity vs. Stagnation Age
Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh of eight stages of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage takes place during middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs)
Middle-aged adulthood is a stage in which you can find your life’s work while contributing to others’ development through activities such as volunteering, mentoring, and raising children.
The author concludes that middle-aged adults contribute positively to society by mentoring, volunteering, and raising children.
Erikson Generativity vs. Stagnation Example
Engagement with the next generation through parenting, coaching, or teaching
Erikson Ego Integrity vs. Despair Age
Ego integrity versus despair is the eighth and final stage of Erik Erikson’s stage theory of psychosocial development.
It is often said that the golden years are when you can live life as a retired person. However, some seniors slow down their productivity to explore their minds and reflect on what has been accomplished.
When reflecting, they may find themselves satisfied with all of the accomplishments made during their lifetime. These moments of peace and quiet allow people to develop integrity which cannot be found in any other period of time.
Erikson Ego Integrity vs. Despair Example
Contemplation and acknowledgment of personal life accomplishments