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ERIK H. ERIKSON. PSYCHOSOCIAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT. Objectives:. 1. To study the key ingredients of Erik Erikson’s Stages of development;. 2. To understand further the meaning of ego, identity crises, and the role of the environment on the individual; and.

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  1. ERIK H. ERIKSON PSYCHOSOCIAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT Objectives: 1. To study the key ingredients of Erik Erikson’s Stages of development; 2. To understand further the meaning of ego, identity crises, and the role of the environment on the individual; and 3. To be aware of the roots of Erikson’s ideas on psychosocial stages.

  2. Erikson was of mixed Danish and Jewish parentage. After his parents' divorce, he had no contact with his father. After completing his education, he wandered around Europe, unsure of what career to follow. Known as the Father of Psychosocial Development He tried painting and wood carving and accepted an offer to teach art at a private school in Vienna for children whose parents were undergoing analysis at Freud's Psychoanalitic Insititute. When he came to America, he needed to redefine his identity as an immigrant. Born in Frankfurt, Germany in June 15, 1902 He concluded that the quest for identity is the major theme in life.

  3. Essential to Erikson's theory is the development of the ego and the ego's ability to deal with a series of crises or potential crises throughout the individual's lifespan.


  5. INTRODUCTION TO ERIKSON’S 8 STAGES Each stage is characterized by a different conflict that must be resolved by the individual. When the environment makes new demands on people, the conflicts arise. There are 2 ways in coping w/ each crisis, an adaptive or maladaptive way When each crisis is resolved, a person will have sufficient strength to deal w/ the next stages of development.

  6. STAGE 1: ORAL-SENSORY Age: Infancy to 12-18 mos. Conflict: Trust vs Mistrust Important Event: Feeding Description: Trust and mistrust is established in the feeding situation. Trust allows an infant to let the mother out of sight. The mother's sensitive care to the baby's needs lays the groundwork for the child's sense of self. Positive Outcome: Familiarity, comfort, and nourishment are met. Negative Outcome: Children will see the world as unfriendly and unpredictable, they will have trouble developing close relationships. They become suspicious, fearful, and mistrusting of their surroundings.

  7. Virtue of Hope - the belief that their needs will be met and their wishes can be attained Example: Babies will begin to understand that objects and people exist even when they cannot see them.

  8. STAGE 2: MUSCULAR-ANAL Age: Toddler period 1 to 2 years Conflict: Autonomy vs Doubt Important Event: Toilet Training Description: Toddlers try to use their developing muscles to do everything themselves - to walk, to feed, and dress. Positive Outcome: Children must take more responsibility for their own feeding, toileting, & dressing. Parents must avoid overprotection. Negative Outcome: If parents set too many limits or too few, children become compulsive about controlling themselves. Fear of losing self-control may fill them with inhibitions, doubt, shame and loss of self-esteem.

  9. Virtue of Will - children learn to make their own decisions and to use self-restraint Example: In this stage, children begin to assume important responsibilities for self-care like feeding, toileting & dressing.

  10. STAGE 3: LOCOMOTOR Age: Early Childhood 2 to 6 years Conflict: Initiative vs Guilt Important Event: Independence Description: Children in this stage are eager for responsibility. They continue to be assertive and like to take initiative. Positive Outcome: Children must learn to accept w/o guilt. They must be guilt free when using their imagination. Negative Outcome: When unresolved they become guilt-ridden and repressed. They may become adults who inhibit their impulses and are self-righteously intolerant of others.

  11. Example:A 4 yr-old passing tools to a parent who is fixing a bicycle. Virtue of Purpose - the courage to envision and pursue valued goals, uninhibited by the defeat of guilt and fear of punishment.

  12. STAGE 4: LATENCY Age: Elementary & Middle School yrs. 6 to 12 years Conflict: Industry vs Inferiority Important Event: School Description: The issue to be resolved has to do with a child's capacity for productive work - a child learns to count, read, and use computers. Positive Outcome: It is essential for children to discover pleasure in being productive. Negative Outcome: If they feel inadequate, they may regress to an earlier level of development - lack of self-initiative; if they become too industrious, they may neglect relationships with other people and become workaholics.

  13. Virtue of Competence - a view of the self as able to master and complete tasks Example: Children want to do productive work on their own.

  14. STAGE 5: ADOLESCENCE Age: Adolescence 12 to 18 yrs Conflict: Identity vs Role Confusion Important Event: Peer Relationships Description: Adolescents are in search of an identity that will lead them to adulthood. They make a strong effort to answer “Who am I”? Adolescents‘ searching for identity make them susceptibility to fads, cults, and gang loyalties to resolve their crisis of identify vs confusion. Love is another avenue toward identity. Erikson believed that males cannot achieve true intimacy until they have achieved a stable identity. Females, he thought, achieve intimacy before identity because girls put their identity aside as they define themselves by the man they will marry.

  15. Positive Outcome: Adolescents must make a conscious search for identity. Negative Outcome: role confusion, feelings of inadequacy, isolation and indecisiveness Virtue of Fidelity: sustained loyalty, faith, or a sense of belongingness to friends and companions. Fidelity is not only the capacity to trust others and oneself but also the capacity to be trustworthy. Example: Adolescents attempt to establish their own identities & see themselves as separate from their parents.

  16. STAGE 6: YOUNG ADULTHOOD Age: Young Adulthood 19 to 40 yrs Conflict: Intimacy vs Isolation Important Event: Love Relationships Description: The most important events are love relationships. Intimacy refers to one’s ability to relate to another human being on a deep, personal level. Positive Outcome: The young adult must be willing to be open and committed to another individual. Negative Outcome: Those unable or unwilling to share themselves with others suffer a sense of loneliness or isolation.

  17. Virtue of Love - a young adult with a strong identity is ready to fuse it with that of another person; - mutuality of devotion, involves commitment, sacrifice, and compromise Example: Sharing oneself with others on a moral, emotional, and sexual level; marriage

  18. STAGE 7: MIDDLE ADULTHOOD Age: Middle adulthood 40 to 65 years Conflict: Generativity vs Stagnation Important Event: Parenting Description: Generativity refers to the adult’s ability to care for another person. Positive Outcome: To have & nurture children and or become involved with future generations. Negative Outcome: Too much stagnation can result in self-indulgence or even in physical or psychological sickness.

  19. Virtue of Care - a commitment to take care of the persons, the products, and the ideas one has learned to care for. Example: Generativity is expressed through activities like teaching and mentorship; it also takes the form of productivity or creativity to further develop personal identity.

  20. STAGE 8: MATURITY Age: 65 years to death Conflict: Integrity vs Despair Important Event: Reflection on and acceptance of one’s life Description: Seeing order and meaning in their lives Positive Outcome: The adult feels a sense of fulfillment about life and accepts death as an unavoidable reality. Negative Outcome: : People who do not achieve acceptance are overwhelmed by despair, realizing that time is too short to seek other roads to integrity; past lives are viewed as a series of disappointments, failures and misfortunes.

  21. Virtue of Wisdom - accepting the life one has lived without major regrets over what could have been or what one should have done differently. It implies accepting one's death as the inevitable end of a life lived well as one knew how to live it. Example: A aged person may find it necessary to reflect what they had accumulated throughout life.

  22. Critique on Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory - Erikson has been criticized for his loose connections of case studies and conclusions. His theory, like Freud's, is difficult to support with empirical evidence. - Some of his concepts are also hard to assess objectively or to use as a basis for research; and there is no real evidence that his stages unfold in the sequence he proposes. - Like Freud, Erikson too has been criticized for an antifemale bias, since he uses the male as the norm for healthy development.

  23. -For Erikson, a decision not to fulfill the natural procreative urge has serious consequences for development. Thus he limits "healthy" development to loving heterosexual relationships that produce children. His exclusion of single, celibate, homosexual, an other childless lifestyles has been criticized. - His assertion that people establish their identity in adolescence is too narrow. Other research shows that the search for identity continues during adulthood. - Furthermore, Erikson's view that childless people have trouble achieving generativity is considered narrow by many psychologists.

  24. COMPARED WITH FREUD, ERIKSON'S GOOD POINTS 1. Freud concentrated on the individual's instinctual drives and interest in different parts of the body while Erikson emphasizes the child's interactions with the environment. 2. Erikson felt that Freud's view of society was too negative because Freud saw civilization as a source of discontent, an impediment to biological drives. 3. Unlike Freud, Erikson's theory is more comprehensive and encompasses the years from infancy to old age. 4. For Erikson, the course of development is reversible, meaning personality structures built earlier in life can undo for better or worse. For Freud, personality structures are fixed by the age of 5

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