Erikson Theory

Topics: Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson, Developmental psychology Pages: 8 (2726 words) Published: December 2, 2010
Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development
Hope: Trust vs. Mistrust (Infants, 0 to 1 year)
* Psychosocial Crisis: Trust vs. Mistrust
* Virtue: Hope
The first stage of Erik Erikson's theory centers on the infant's basic needs being met by the parents. The infant depends on the parents, especially the mother, for food, sustenance, and comfort. The child's relative understanding of world and society come from the parents and their interaction with the child. If the parents expose the child to warmth, regularity, and dependable affection, the infant's view of the world will be one of trust. Should the parents fail to provide a secure environment and to meet the child's basic need a sense of mistrust will result. According to Erik Erikson, the major developmental task in infancy is to learn whether or not other people, especially primary caregivers, regularly satisfy basic needs. If caregivers are consistent sources of food, comfort, and affection, an infant learns trust- that others are dependable and reliable. If they are neglectful, or perhaps even abusive, the infant instead learns mistrust- that the world is in an undependable, unpredictable, and possibly dangerous place. Will: Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (Toddlers, 2 to 3 years) * Psychosocial Crisis: Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt

* Main Question: "Can I do things myself or must I always rely on others?" * Virtue: Will
As the child gains control over eliminative functions and motor abilities, they begin to explore their surroundings. The parents still provide a strong base of security from which the child can venture out to assert their will. The parents' patience and encouragement helps foster autonomy in the child. Highly restrictive parents, however, are more likely to instill the child with a sense of doubt and reluctance to attempt new challenges. As they gain increased muscular coordination and mobility, toddlers become capable of satisfying some of their own needs. They begin to feed themselves, wash and dress themselves, and use the bathroom. If caregivers encourage self-sufficient behavior, toddlers develop a sense of autonomy- a sense of being able to handle many problems on their own. But if caregivers demand too much too soon, refuse to let children perform tasks of which they are capable, or ridicule early attempts at self-sufficiency; children may instead develop shame and doubt about their ability to handle problems. Purpose: Initiative vs. Guilt (Preschool, 4 to 5 years)

* Psychosocial Crisis: Initiative vs. Guilt
* Main Question: "Am I good or am I bad?"
* Virtue: Purpose
* Related Elements in Society: ideal prototypes/roles
Initiative adds to autonomy the quality of undertaking, planning and attacking a task for the sake of being active and on the move. The child is learning to master the world around him, learning basic skills and principles of physics. Things fall down, not up. Round things roll. He learns how to zip and tie, count and speak with ease. At this stage, the child wants to begin and complete his own actions for a purpose. Guilt is a confusing new emotion. He may feel guilty over things that logically should not cause guilt. He may feel guilt when his initiative does not produce desired results. The development of courage and independence are what set preschoolers, ages three to six years of age, apart from other age groups. Young children in this category face the challenge of initiative versus guilt. As described in Bee and Boyd (2004), the child during this stage faces the complexities of planning and developing a sense of judgment. During this stage, the child learns to take initiative and prepare for leadership and goal achievement roles. Activities sought out by a child in this stage may include risk-taking behaviors, such as crossing a street alone or riding a bike without a helmet; both these examples involve self-limits. Within instances requiring initiative, the child may also develop...
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