Ericksons Psychosocial Theory

Topics: Developmental psychology, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson Pages: 5 (1434 words) Published: April 23, 2013

Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory
PSY 104-275


Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory, PSY 104-274.
Erick Erickson was a psychologist that was born in Germany and became famous for his Theory of eight stages of development. Erick believed there were eight influential stages in a human’s life. At each stage, a unique developmental task confronts individuals with a crisis in which must be resolved. According to Erickson the crisis is not a catastrophe, but a turning point marked by both increased vulnerability and enhanced potential.
Key Words: psychoanalytic, psychoanalysis, Autonomy, Generativity, Stagnation



Erik Erikson was born in 1902 near Frankfort, Germany to Danish parents. Erik found himself in quite an identity crisis while growing up. He was a blonde hair blue eye Jewish boy that found it difficult to study in Jewish temple because of his looks. And in grammar school he was out casted for being Jewish. He also studied art and a variety of languages during his school years, rather than science courses such as biology and chemistry. He did not like the atmosphere that formal schooling produced, so instead of going to college he traveled around Europe, keeping a diary of his experiences. (Personality Theories, Dr c. George Boeree.) After a year of doing this, he returned to Germany and enrolled in art school. After several years, Erikson began to teach art and other subjects to children of Americans who had come to Vienna for Freudian training. Erick than met a Canadian dance instructor named Joan Serson who was also teaching at the school where he worked. The couple married in 1930 and went on to have three children. In 1933 he came to the U.S. and took a teaching position at Harvard. In addition to teaching at Harvard he also had a private practice in child psychoanalysis. Later he held teaching positions at Yale, San Francisco psychoanalytic, Austin Riggs center and the center for advanced studies of behavioral Sciences. He published a number of books on his theories and research, including Childhood and Society and The Life Cycle Completed. His book Gandhi's Truth was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and a national Book Award. Erick retired in 1970. He however continued to write, do research and occasionally lecture. In 1950 serious health problems


forced him into full retirement. Erick died in 1994 at the age of 91. (Personality Theories, Dr C. George Boeree.)

Erick Erickson was however probably known best known for is Psychosocial Theory. Erickson’s theory was one in which eight stages of psychosocial development unfold through out a humans lifetime. Each stage consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis in which must be faced. (Santrock, 2008,16)

The first stage, Trust vs. Mistrust, occurs from approximately birth to one year. Erikson defined trust as an essential trustfulness of others as well as a fundamental sense of one's own trustworthiness. He also said that some mistrust is necessary to learn to discriminate between honest and dishonest persons. If mistrust wins over trust in this stage, the child will be frustrated, withdrawn, suspicious, and will lack self-confidence. (Santrock, 2008,16) The second stage, Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt, occurs between ages two and three. During this period it is important that the parents create a supportive atmosphere for their child so it can develop a sense of self-control without a loss of self-esteem. In this stage, Erikson said the child encounters rules, such as which areas of the house he is allowed to...
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