Erik Erikson

Last four stages of Development

Life Story (1902 - 1994 )

Erikson developed eight psycho-social stages in which humans develop throughout their entire life span. Erik Homberger Erikson was born in 1902 near Frankfort, Germany. Erik studied art and a variety of languages during his school years. When he was finished with high school he decided to travel Europe, writing in a diary about his experiences, rather than going to college. In 1933 he came to the U.S. and became Boston's first child analyst. He received a position at the Harvard Medical School, then held positions at institutions including Yale, Berkeley, and the Menninger Foundation. Erikson was constantly concerned with the rapid social changes in America so, he chose to write about the issues. Erikson's interests were spread over a wide area of the world.

Stage 5- Identity vs Role Confusion

Adolescence (12 to 18 years)

Going from childhood to adulthood is the most important change in a humans life. In this time period the Child is becoming more independent an wanting to fit in to society. At this age the child is able to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, housing, and more. During this stage in development, the adolescent will look at their identity and try to find out exactly who he or she is. Erikson suggests that two identities are involved: the sexual and the occupational. He claims the adolescent may feel uncomfortable about their body for a while until they have grown into it. They form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. If they fail at finding their identity within society, it can lead to role confusion. Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about themselves or their place in society. If a adolescence is pressed into an identity, Their reactions may vary from rebellion ( which can form a negative identity) or they may start having feelings of unhappiness (which can lead to depression).
Adolescence: Identity vs. Role Confusion

Stage 6- Intimacy vs. Isolation

Young Adulthood (19 to 40 years)

In young adulthood, a person begins to share themselves more intimately with others. They explore relationships which become longer term commitments with a significant other. If they're successful at this stage, it can lead to comfortable relationships and a sense of commitment, safety, and more care within the relationship. This will all result in the feeling of love. If unsuccessful, the young adult will start avoiding intimacy, fearing commitment and relationships in all. In this case, it can lead to isolation, loneliness, and sometimes depression.


Intimacy vs. isolation

Stage 7- Generativity vs. Stagnation

Middle Adulthood (40 to 65 years)

Occurring in the middle adulthood, adults establish their careers and settle down a relationship if they are in one. They start a family and develop a sense of being mature and looked up too. The adult gives back to society by raising their children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community activities and organizations. Success in this stage will lead to the feeling of care. By failing to achieve these objectives, they become stagnant and feel unproductive.

Stage 8- Ego Integrity vs. Despair

Maturity (65 to death)

As a person grows older and enter the senior citizen stage, they tend to slow down and explore life as a retired person. It is during this time that a individual contemplate their accomplishments. The person is able to develop integrity if they see themselves as leading a successful life. Erik Erikson believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our past, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair. This most often leads to depression and hopelessness. Success in this stage will lead to the wisdom. Wisdom enables a person to look back on their life with a sense of closure and completeness. Also they come to accept death without fear.