Erikson's Eight Stages of Development

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Erikson’s 8 Stages of Development

Erik Erikson studied people and concluded that we all go through stages of development from birth to death. Erikson divided up the stages into the following categories: Oral-Sensory/Infancy, Early Childhood, Play Age, Latency/School Age, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Middle Adulthood, and Late Adulthood. He believed that some characteristics are learned based on challenges and support that we receive throughout life. (Harder, 2002)

The first stage is Oral-Sensory/Infancy. This stage is between birth and eighteen months. This is the time when trust or mistrust is learned. If our basic needs are met, then we learn to trust. If not, we may become frustrated and learn mistrust. (Harder, 2002)

Next is the second stage, Early Childhood. This stage is between eighteen months and three years. During this time we learn to do things for ourselves. This is when self-esteem is learned, unless we are shamed, which may result in a lower self-esteem, shame, and doubt. (Harder, 2002)

Next is the third stage, Play Age. This stage is between three and five years. During this stage we like to role-play. We become very independent and learn to take initiative. Guilt may develop if we are not allowed to do things on our own. We need lots of reassurance. (Harder, 2002)

Next is the fourth stage, Latency/School Age. This stage is between six and twelve years. This is the social stage. We need to interact with peers. If we have difficulty interacting with peers, it may cause a sense of inferiority. (Harder, 2002)

Next is the fifth stage, Adolescence. This stage is between twelve and eighteen years. During this time we seek to find our own identity. Development in the earlier stages makes a big difference at this time. Do we trust or mistrust? Do we have healthy self-esteem? This is, also, when we make decisions about life in general. (Harder, 2002)

Next is the sixth stage, Young Adulthood. This stage is...
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