Erikson’s Stages of Development: Erik Erikson was a psychologist who developed one of the most popular and influential developmental theories. Although his theory was influenced by the work of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and, Erikson’s theory focused on psychosocial rather than psychosexual development. His theory consists of the following stages:
How Many Stages of Psychosocial Development
- Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust (Infancy from birth to 18 months)
- Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (Toddler years from 18 months to three years)
- Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt (Preschool years from three to five)
- Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority (Middle school years from six to 11)
- Stage 5: Identity vs. Confusion (Teen years from 12 to 18)
- Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation (Young adult years from 18 to 40)
- Stage 7: Generativity vs. Stagnation (Middle age from 40 to 65)
- Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair (Older adulthood from 65 to death)
Let’s takes a closer look at the background and the different stages that make up Erikson’s psychosocial theory.
Erikson’s Stages of Development
Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development: In this article, you will get to know all about how many stages of Psychosocial development.
Overview of Erikson’s stages of development
So what exactly did Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development entail? Like Sigmund Freud, Erikson believed that personality develops in several stages.
Unlike Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages, Erikson’s theory described the influence of social experience during the lifetime. Erikson was interested in the role of social interaction and relationships in human development and growth. Erikson’s theory was based on the so-called epigenetic principle.
Conflict at every stage
Each stage of Erikson’s theory builds on previous stages and paves the way for later stages of development. At each stage, Erikson believed that people experience conflict, which is a turning point in development According to Erikson, these conflicts focus either on the development of psychological quality or not. In this day and age, the opportunity for personal growth is high, but so is the opportunity for failure.
When people successfully resolve conflicts, they leave the scene with psychological strengths that will serve them well throughout their lives.
If they cannot resolve these conflicts effectively, they may not develop strong skills.
Mastery leads to ego strength
Each stage of Erikson’s theory concerns competence in some area of life.
When the stage is well managed, one feels a sense of mastery, sometimes called ego strength or ego quality. If the phase is badly managed, the person has a feeling of inadequacy in this area of development.
Psychosocial stages: A summary diagram
Erikson’s Stage 1: Trust vs. mistrust
The first stage of the theory of psychosocial development of Eriksonand#039 occurs from birth to 1 year and is the most important stage of life. Since the baby is completely dependent, the basis for the development of trust is the reliability and quality of the child and caregivers.
At this stage of development, a child is completely dependent on adult caregivers for everything they need to survive, including food, love, warmth, safety and care. If the caregiver fails to provide adequate care and love, the child begins to feel that he cannot trust or depend on the adults in his life.
Outcomes / The score
When trust successfully established in a child, the child feels safe and secure in the world. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable, or dismissive increase feelings of distrust toward children in their care.
Failure to develop trust leads to fear and the belief that the world is inconsistent and unpredictable. Lack of it leads to mistrust. No child develops 100 percent faith or 100 percent doubt.
Erikson believed that successful development consisted of finding a balance between two opposing sides. When this happens, children gain hope, which Erikson described as an openness to experience tempered by a warning that danger exists. Later work by researchers such as John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth showed the importance of trust in the development of healthy attachments in childhood and adulthood.
Erikson’s Stage 2: Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt
The second stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development occurs in early childhood and focuses on children developing a greater sense of personal control.
The role of independence
At this stage of development, children are just beginning to gain some independence. They begin to perform their basic functions and make simple decisions about what they want.
An important theme of this stage is for children to develop personal physical control and a sense of independence. Like Freud, Erikson believed that toilet training was an important part of this process. ;;However, Erikson’s reasoning differed from Freud’s. Erikson believed that learning to control the functions of oneself and the body leads to a sense of control and independence. Other important events include growing food choices, toy preferences, and clothing choices.
Results / Outcomes
Children who struggle and are ashamed of their misfortunes may be left without personal control. Success at this stage of psychosocial development leads to a sense of autonomy; failure leads to feelings of shame and doubt.
Finding a balance
Children who successfully pass this stage feel safe and confident, while those who do not pass feel inadequacy and insecurity. Erikson believed that achieving a balance between autonomy and shame and doubt leads to agency, which is the belief that children can act with purpose, reason, and boundaries.
Erikson’s Stage 3: Initiative vs. guilt
The third stage of psychosocial development occurs in preschool age. During this stage of psychosocial development, children begin to assert their power and control in the world by leading play and other social interactions.
Children who develop at this stage feel empowered and able to lead others. Those who do not acquire these skills left with guilt, doubt and a lack of initiative.
The main theme of the third stage of psychosocial development is that children must begin to protect their environment and authority. Success at this stage brings a sense of purpose. Children who try to exercise too much power experience resentment, which leads to feelings of guilt. When the ideal balance between individual initiative and the desire to work with others is achieved, a quality of the ego known as purpose arises.
Erikson’s Stage 4: Industry vs Inferiority
The fourth psychosocial stage occurs in the early school years, around ages 5-11. Through social interaction, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their achievements and abilities. Children must meet new social and academic demands.
With the encouragement and gratitude of parents and teachers, children develop a sense of competence and confidence in their own abilities. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers doubt their ability to succeed. Finding a successful balance in this stage of psychosocial development leads to a strength known as competence, where children develop a belief in their abilities to handle the tasks set before them.
Erikson’s Stage 5: Identity vs Confusion
The fifth psychosocial stage often occurs during the turbulent teenage years. This stage plays an important role in the development of a sense of personal identity, which influences behavior and development throughout the rest of life. Teenagers need to develop self-esteem and personal identity. Success leads to the ability to stay true to yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and low self-esteem.
During adolescence, children explore their independence and develop self-esteem. Those who receive adequate encouragement and affirmation through personal exploration will emerge from this stage with strong self-esteem and a sense of independence and control. Those who are insecure about their beliefs and desires feel insecure and confused about themselves and their future.
What is identity?
When psychologists talk about identity, they mean all the beliefs, ideals, and values that help shape and guide a person and behavior. Successful completion of this stage leads to fidelity, which Erikson described as the ability to live up to society’s standards and expectations.
Although Erikson believed that every stage of psychosocial development was important, he particularly emphasized the development of self-identity. Self-identity is a conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction and becomes the central focus of identity and a confusing phase of psychosocial development.
According to Erikson, our ego identity is constantly changing with new experiences and information gained in daily interactions with others. With new experiences, we also accept challenges that can help or hinder identity development.
Why identity matters
Our personal identity gives each of us a complete and unified sense of self that lasts throughout our lives. Our own identity shaped by our experiences and interactions with others, and this identity helps guide our actions, beliefs, and behaviors as we age.
Erikson’s Stage 6: Intimacy vs Isolation
Young adults need to form close and loving relationships with other people.
Erikson believed that it was essential for people to develop close and committed relationships with other people. Those who thrive in this stage create lasting and secure relationships.
Based on the previous stages Remember that each step builds on the skills learned in the previous steps. Erikson believed that a strong sense of personal identity was important for the development of intimate relationships.
Research has shown that people with low self-esteem tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to struggle with emotional isolation, loneliness and depression. Successful completion of this step leads to the virtue called love. It characterized by the ability to create lasting, meaningful relationships with other people.
Erikson’s Stage 7: Generativity vs. Stagnation
Adults need to create or grow things that keep them going, often by having children or making positive changes that benefit other people. Success brings a sense of usefulness and fulfillment, while failure brings a connection to the surface world.
As adults, we continue to build our lives, focusing on our careers and families. Those who thrive in this stage feel that they are contributing to the world by being active in their home and community.
Those who do not achieve this skill feel unproductive and unproductive in the world. Cultivation is a virtue that is achieved when this stage is successfully managed. The important achievements of this stage are being proud of your achievements, watching your children grow up and developing a sense of oneness with your life partner.
Erikson’s Stage 8: Honesty vs. despair
The final psychosocial stage occurs at an older age and focuses on reflection on life. At this stage of development, people look back on the events of their lives and decide whether they are satisfied with their lives or regret their lives. things they did or didn’t do.
Erikson’s theory differed from many others because it dealt with development across the lifespan, including old age. Older adults need to look back on their lives and experience a sense of satisfaction.
Success at this stage brings a sense of wisdom, while failure brings regret, bitterness and despair. At this stage, people reflect and evaluate the events of their lives. Those who look back on a life they feel was well lived feel satisfied and ready to face the end of their lives with a sense of peace. Those who look back and only regret are instead afraid that their lives will end without achieving what they think they should have.
Those who fail at this stage feel that their lives have been wasted and may experience a lot of regret. A person feels bitter and hopeless. Those who are proud of their achievements have a sense of honesty.
Successfully completing this stage means you will look back with few regrets and an overall sense of satisfaction. These people attain wisdom even before death. Strengths and Weaknesses of Erikson’s Theory Erikson’s theory also has its limitations and attracts justified criticism.
- What experiences are needed for success at each stage?
- How does a person move from one stage to another?
One of the main weaknesses of psychosocial theory is that the exact mechanisms of conflict resolution and transition from one stage to another are not well described or developed. The theory does not specify exactly what experiences are needed at each stage to successfully resolve conflicts and move to the next stage.
One of the strengths of psychosocial theory is that it provides a broad framework from which to view development across the lifespan. It also makes it possible to emphasize the social nature of people and the important influence of social relations on development. Researchers have found evidence to support Erikson’s ideas about identity and have further identified different substages of identity formation.
Some research also suggests that people who develop a strong personal identity during adolescence are better able to form close relationships in early adulthood. . However, other studies indicate that identity formation and development continues into adulthood
Why was Erikson’s theory important?
The theory was important because it dealt with development throughout the person and life, not just during childhood. The importance of social relationships in personality formation and growth at each stage of development was also emphasized.
Some research may support some aspects of this theoretical framework, but that does not mean that all aspects of the theory are supported by evidence.
But the theory can be a useful way to think about the various conflicts and challenges that people can face throughout their lives. It’s also easy to look at each stage of Erikson’s theory and think about how it applies to your life.
Learning about each stage can provide insight into what you may face as you age. It can also help you reflect on things that may have happened in the past and help you see how you can improve your coping skills to better deal with today’s challenges.