Erik Erikson Stages of Human Development

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Erik Erikson stages of human development with a particular approach of the Identity crisis of adolescence and implications for youth policy and practice.

Erik Erikson`s developmental stages: The Adolescence Identity Crisis approach.

“They say is human to experience a long childhood, but is also civilised to have an even longer childhood as it leads the person to achieve more technical and mental abilities known as virtuoso; at the same time it can also leave a long residue of immaturity and emotional confusion” (Erikson, 1994- Erik Hamburger Erikson, 1902-1994).

In the collected works there was a researcher who spent a lot of time studying about human development and his name was Erik Erikson; most of Erikson`s work is based on real life situations such as the war and human depression which could influence the behaviour of one person, the author believed that the culture one individual lives in is also influencing their behaviour as an example of such arguments is Erikson`s study Sioux Indians investigated in a reservation. Erikson argued that the human behaviour is influenced by the body interactions, by the human mind and the overall cultural influences (Marcia, 1966). Erikson developed a theory which states that there are eight major stages in the human development dividing the adulthood developmental stages into young adults, middle age adults and older adults experience.

The first stage Erikson described is the Infancy starting from birth up to 18 months also called the Oral Sensory stage and the main concept of the stage is emphasising the importance of love and care given to an infant by their mother as well as the visual contact and touch as the forms of communication and emotional exchange; this stage is also known as “Trust versus Mistrust” which stands for the infant`s basic needs accomplishment as when the infant`s needs are fulfilled by the mother as the role model the child will form trust and confidence where as if the basic needs such as visual contact are not offered by the mother it can lead the infant to develop mistrust in the closest person due to the lack of positive communication (Oswalt, 1995-2012).

The second stage starts at 2 and continues up to 4 years old is also known as the “Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt” which stands for the fact that the child is actually asking if their person is ok and accepted by the others due to the fact that he starts to explore the close environment and gains motor abilities; at this stage the children are developing their first interests and the parents still play a fundamental role in encouraging and supporting the child`s autonomy and independency skills (Erikson, 1970).

The third stage is also known as the Preschool stage “Initiative versus Guilt” starting at 4 until the child reaches 5 years old and although is a short stage the child development is significant as they start to master the nearest environment by achieving basic learning skills of life for instance the child learns that the things are falling down and not up. At this stage the child develops a certain level of independency and courage but at the same time they can develop some negative behaviour such as frustration, rudeness or aggressive intentions (Erikson, 1993).

Between 5 and 12 years old is the stage of “Industry versus Inferiority” when the child is asking if they have a place in the world and becomes more aware of the fact that they are individuals, become more responsible, start to share more and to cooperate better in certain situations as they understand the meaning and sense of life to a deeper extend, at the same time the child discovers new talents and interests (Erikson, 1980). The fifth stage is the Adolescence starting at 13 up to 19 years old also known as “Identity versus Role Confusion” which stands for the crisis the teenager might experience when identifying their own personality; it is the most critical period as it could influence the person` s life as it...
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