Development Theories

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Erik Erikson elaborated Freud's genital stage in adolescence, and added three stages of adulthood (William, 2011). The eight stages according to Mcleod are: Trust Versus Mistrust (birth - 1 year), Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (2 - 3 years), Initiative vs. Guilt (3 - 5 years), Industry (competence) vs. Inferiority (6 - 12 years), Identity vs. Role Confusion (13 - 18 years), Intimacy vs. Isolation (young adulthood), Generativity vs. Stagnation (middle adulthood) and Ego Integrity vs. Despair (old age). I am going to discuss the first two. At infancy, children learn to trust or/and mistrust people and environment. I still have family members I am uncomfortable being around because they use to tickle me as a child. Now there is always a sense of mistrust when I am around them. As toddlers, (18 months-3 years) take pride in self and learn to face fears or self-doubt. This is the stage where we gain sphincter control and begin potty training. If our caregivers are overly critical or impatient, or if they demean our efforts, we develop feelings of shame and doubt. After my mum showed me a few times how to go potty, I would tell her I did not want her in the toilet and I could do it myself. This gave me a sense of autonomy and self-esteem. For Erikson, psychosocial development involves certain crises which the individual must face at each stage.

McLeod, S. A. (2008). Erik Erikson: Psychosocial Stages. Retrieved from

Crain, William (2011). Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications (6th ed.).
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