Erik Erikson's Theory

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ERIK ERIKSON (1902-1994)
Erik Erikson was a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings.

Erikson’s Theory
Erikson believed that process of human development occurred throughout one’s life span. He divided this process into 8 stages. Each stage involves certain developmental tasks that are psychosocial and has a certain optimal time, meaning there is a time for each task. If these stages are well-managed then the individual will gain psychosocial strength which will help them to successfully go through the rest of the stages in life. However, if one doesn’t do well it will endanger their future development.

Stage One- Trust vs Midtrust (birth-1 year)
The child will develop an essential sense of trust of others and of one’s own trustworthiness. For example, an infant who gets fed when he is hungry or comforted when he needs comforting will develop trust. However a sense of mistrust is necessary to learn to discriminate between honest and dishonest people. If mistrust wins over trust during this stage then the child will lack self-confidence.

Stage Two- Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt (2-3 years)
During this period it is essential that the child’s parents create a supportive atmosphere where the child can develop a sense of self-control without a loss of self-esteem. Therefore it is important for child to receive encouragement and to start to become independent. This will result in the child becoming confident in their own abilities as they grow older. If children are criticized or overly controlled they begin to feel the need to depend on others and lack self-esteem.

Stage Three- Initiative vs Guilt (3-5 years)
In this stage the child develops a sense of responsibility which increases initiative. If the child is irresponsible they will develop a sense of...
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