Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development is one of the best-known theories of personality in psychology (Erikson's Psychosocial Stages, p. 1). Psychosocial Stage 1 Trust vs. Mistrust the first stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development occurs between birth and one year of age and is the most fundamental stage in life. Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child’s caregivers. If a child successfully develops trust, he or she will feel safe and secure in the world. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable, or rejecting contribute to feelings of mistrust in the children they care for. Failure to develop trust will result in fear and a belief that the world is inconsistent and unpredictable (p. 1). Psychosocial Stage 3 Initiative vs. Guilt During the preschool years, children begin to assert their power and control over the world through directing play and other social interaction (2). Children who are successful at this stage feel capable and able to lead others. Those who fail to acquire these skills are left with a sense of guilt, self-doubt and lack of initiative. Psychosocial Stage 4 Industry vs. Inferiority this stage covers the early school years from approximately age 5 to 11.Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their ability to be successful (2). Psychosocial Stage 5 Identity vs. Confusion During adolescence, children are exploring their independence and developing a sense of self (2). Those who receive proper encouragement and reinforcement through personal exploration will emerge from...
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