Erik Erikson, 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development

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LORENZ W.

Erik Erikson was born on June 15, 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. His parents had separated from each other before he was born and his mother married a Jewish doctor. His peers saw him as Jewish, but his Jewish temple did not accept him because of his appearance. Therefore, during his youth, Erikson had many struggles with identity. Erikson's family wanted him to study science. Erikson did not do well in school and did not continue on to a university. Instead of pursuing the science degree, he went to art school and enjoyed eight years of traveling Europe as a wandering artist. After Erikson had graduated from art school, he began to teach at a private school. In the early 1930's, Erikson moved his family to the United States. He became US citizen in 1939 and changed his last name from Homburger to Erikson. Erikson worked at Harvard Medical School, Yale University, and several private appointments in their clinics for disturbed children. In the year 1950, Erikson published a very influential book titled, Childhood and Society. This book included Erikson's famous Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. He continued to work at Harvard until he retired in 1970. After retirement, the Erikson's moved to the Bay Area of California, and continued to work at training another generation of child workers. He led many seminars on his Eight Stages and other psychological topics. The Erikson's relocated to Massachusetts in the early 1990's and Erik died in 1994.

The Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development

What are the most important stages in a person's life? It all depends. You will notice in each stage there are opportunities for positive ego development as well as deficits in one's character, not only before a child reaches his 20's, but throughout life. Erikson developed eight stages of Psychosocial Development. Erikson's first stage is called the Basic Trust vs. Basic Mistrust. This is the stage of the 1st year (infancy) when the baby is...
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