Prof. Jessica Rodriguez
May 4, 2012
Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
In our American society, adults have grown accustom to asking children this one question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, and our children have given us various replies such as a doctor, a nurse, a policeman, etc…, and care givers have given little or no thought as to how the kind of treatment that a child receives in the early stages of life will impact the child’s chances of obtaining that goal in life. This concern is exactly what Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development addresses due to the impact that the children’s mental wellness has on their life. Our children must first have a firm foundation where they feel mentally secure in order to obtain the level of confidence that it takes to reach their goals in life because if they do not, those goals may become no more than pipe dreams. Erik Erikson’s theory of Psychosocial Development is based on the premise that all human beings are social in nature (having an inner instinct to form relationships with others) and possess a deeply embedded desire/need to belong, with emphasis on a person’s personal awareness of themselves or better known as a person’s ego as stated in the following: “One of the main elements of Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory is the development of ego identity. Ego identity is the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction.) (Cherry, K., (n.d.), para. 2). Mr. Erikson’s theory is divided into eight different stages of life (with the first two being the most critical), “Trust versus Mistrust”, “Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt”, “Initiative versus Guilt”, “Industry versus Inferiority”, “Identity versus confusion”, “Intimacy versus Isolation”, “Generativity versus Stagnation”, and “Integrity versus Despair” respectively and each succeeding stage is influenced by the...