Psycho-Social Stages of Development

Lindsay Whiteman

Erik Erikson

Born: Frankfurt, Germany (1902-1994)

Contribution: Theory that each stage of life is connected to a psychological struggle that contributes to a major aspect of personality (i.e. psychological needs of individual conflict with needs of society)

8 Stages of Psycho-Social Development:

These stages progress throughout the lifespan and deal with a crisis that must be resolved in order for each psychological quality to develop.
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1) Trust vs. Mistrust

  • Infant uncertain about the world, looks to primary caregiver for stability
  • C.P.R. - Consistent//Predictable//Reliable
  • Success: Develop trust + security even when threatened (hope)
  • Failure: anxiety, heightened insecurities, general mistrust of world
Erik Erikson - Stage 2 Developmental Psychology

2) Autonomy vs. Shame

  • Children begin to discover and explore their own abilities + talents (i.e. putting on clothes, choosing a toy etc.)
  • Parents must find balance between allowing for exploration + avoiding consistent failure (i.e. potty training)
  • Success: encouraged + supported in their increased independence - more confident and sure of their ability to survive in the world (will)
  • Failure: criticized, overly controlled, or not allowed assertion of self - feel inadequate of their abilities and become more dependent upon others

3) Initiative vs. Guilt

  • Period where children regularly interact with others at school and explore their interpersonal abilities (i.e. plan activities, make up games, initiate activities with others)
  • Success: If given opportunity to exercise these abilities, children will be able to develop a sense of initiative + feel secure in ability to make decisions and lead others (purpose)
  • Failure: If shut down by either criticism or control, child will develop sense of guilt like their are "being a nuisance"

4) Industry vs. Inferiority

  • Learning to read + write + do math + do things on their own (role of teacher huge and influence of peers grows)
  • Feels the need to win approval by accomplishing what is valued by society
  • Success: If encouraged and reinforced in ability to take initiative, feel industrious and confident in ability to achieve goals (competence)
  • Failure: If inhibited, begin to feel inferior doubting their abilities and hindering their potential

5) Identity vs. Role Confusion

  • Transition from childhood to adulthood, becoming more independent, looking to the future, wanting to fit into society
  • Re-examine identity and begin to figure out role as adult, 2 identities involved: sexual + occupational
  • Success: Able to adapt to their changing bodies, leads to fidelity (able to accept others even when ideologies differ), begin to form their own identity
  • Failure: Cannot establish sense of identity within society, leads to role confusion (identity crisis), may begin to experiment with different lifestyles

6) Intimacy vs. Isolation

  • In young adulthood, begin to explore more intimate relationships of commitment with someone outside the family
  • Success: Lead to comfortable relationships + sense of commitment, safety, care (love)
  • Failure: Lead to avoiding intimacy + fearing commitment, relationships can bring loneliness, isolation, depression

7) Generativity vs. Stagnation

  • Middle adulthood, establish career, settle down, start a family, sense of being a part of the bigger picture
  • Success: Give back to society by raising children, being productive at work, involved in community (care)
  • Failure: Become stagnant and unproductive in life

8) Ego Integrity vs. Despair

  • Later years of adulthood becoming senior citizens, often retired, slow down productivity, contemplate accomplishments
  • Success: Look back on life and develop integrity from accomplishments (wisdom) sense of closure + completeness looking at death without fear
  • Failure: If view life as unproductive then feel guilt or unaccomplished, become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, depression, hopelessness